Sean O’Malley would like to see Aljamain Sterling stay more active.
The UFC bantamweight title picture is a bit muddy at this time. The champion of the division, Aljamain Sterling has just come off his second title defense. He defeated TJ Dillashaw last month at the UFC 280 event. He has proven that he belongs at the top of this stacked division but has also made sure that there is a target on his back. Following the win, Sterling was looking for a much-earned rest and stated that he did not want to return until the summer. With the title contenders lining up it seems that fans and fellow fighters would like him to get back in the cage sooner than that.
Immediately following his win, the UFC and Dana White mentioned the name Henry Cejudo as the next possible opponent. Cejudo retired from MMA two years ago but has been wanting to return. He could be a great option for Sterling but does not want to wait until July. He was calling for Sterling to face him in February in Perth Australia.
Sean O’Malley is targeting July as his return date
Another man who could be next for the title is Sean O’Malley. He has been calling for Sterling but also wants to wait until July. The thing is, he thinks Sterling should face Cejudo in March, and then the winner can face him in July.
“I think I’m gonna fight in July if I had to guess. I want to have a couple of months off. I don’t want to get back because if I was fighting like March, that’d be like getting back to sparring and getting back to camp in a couple of weeks,” he said on his YouTube channel. “If Henry’s coming back. You can’t say he doesn’t deserve a title shot because I’m like one of his biggest haters, dude. And I mean, two-time world champ, didn’t lose the belt, just retired, never lost. Gold Medalists you know, the bantamweight division is on fire, the best division in the UFC. Let’s keep it going, baby. If you want to see Aljo fight Henry then have them fight in March and I’ll fight the winner in July.”
O’Malley is fine with waiting until July to fight next but wants Sterling, who fought in the same card he did to return sooner. He thinks Sterling may have a hard time cutting weight twice in a short amount of time between March and July but wants him to stay active as the champion.
“I’m sure he doesn’t want to fight, like, cut weight that many times. But that’s not our problem. Right? That’s his problem,” he said. “If you’re champ and you’re healthy, fight. If you’re a champ and you’re healthy, why wouldn’t you fight?”
It seems as though Sterling is leaning towards taking on O’Malley next rather than Cejudo, but has mentioned being open to any option the UFC wants as long as he is paid properly.