Exclusive: Adrian Yanez Explains Why Aljamain Sterling Shouldn’t Get Immediate Rematch With Sean O’Malley

Yanez doesn't think 'Suga' will run it back with Sterling next.

Sterling Yanez
(via @funkmastermma - Instagram)

Adrian Yanez doesn’t want to see an instant sequel between Aljamain Sterling and Sean O’Malley.

Sterling’s superb title run finally came to an end this summer. After three straight title defenses, the now former UFC Bantamweight Champion met his match at UFC 292 where he was TKO’ed by O’Malley inside two rounds

Yanez On Who’s Next For Sean O’Malley

Since being dethroned in Boston, Sterling has already campaigned for a rematch with ‘Suga’. This is one of O’Malley many options for his first title defense. But, bantamweight contender Yanez thinks it’s less enticing than the others. 

“I feel like [Cory Sandhagen] should be the next fight [for Sean O’Malley],” Yanez told Middle Easy. “But, I know he’s injured and I know he’s recovering. I don’t know where Merab [Dvalishvili] is at. So, that kind of leaves him out a little bit. Uh, I’m not sure if he can train at full capacity just yet, if he’s able to turn around and do December.

“I think the only two matchups, I guess that kind of really makes sense for December would probably be either Henry [Cejudo or Chito [Vera]. If I’m being honest with you, I feel like if you take a quite a bit of time off and you come back, you fight, you lose, I feel like you shouldn’t be getting that next shot. If Cory was healthy right now, he’d be next in line, or if Merab was healthy right now, he’d for sure be the next in line.”

How Does Sterling Fit Into The Title Conversation?

Yanez explains where he stands when it comes to Sterling’s case for a title shot.

“Aljo? It’s weird,” Yanez said of Sterling’s current situation. “I feel like if a lot of these guys, if they get finished and they get finished definitively, I feel like you should get one [win] and then come and then be able to fight for your title.

“Like for Max Holloway, he won in his run, he lost to Volkanovski, he got the immediate rematch— I felt like that was warranted. I feel like your title reign has to be a little bit longer, instead of like three fights.

“I don’t know. I feel like if you just held the belt once, like you won the belt, you lost the belt, I don’t think you should get an immediate rematch,” Yanez continued. “Going back as an example, like when Cody Garbrandt and TJ Dillashaw fought, like Cody won the belt off of Dominick, fought TJ, lost to him, but then they gave him an immediate rematch… that’s what I’m trying to get at.”

Did Aljamain Sterling do enough in his title run to deserve an immediate rematch with Sean O’Malley?

Published on August 27, 2023 at 1:03 am
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