Aljamain Sterling has made it clear: he’s taking a break for the rest of 2023 and then eyeing a chance to get his title back.
The unexpected activity after Sterling’s DQ title win in March 2021, especially following his neck surgery, led him to fight four times between April 2022 and last Saturday at UFC 292. Under the nickname “Funk Master,” Sterling triumphantly defended his title in the initial three fights against renowned former champions Petr Yan, T.J. Dillashaw, and Henry Cejudo.
However, Sean O’Malley turned the tables by ending Sterling’s record-breaking UFC bantamweight winning streak of nine consecutive victories. This second career knockout loss (23-4) forces the 34-year-old fighter back to strategizing, hoping for a chance to redeem himself.
“Sean’s now the kingpin, wearing the crown, and hats off to him and his squad,” Sterling expressed on his YouTube channel. “It’s in my hands to maybe secure a rematch, or possibly let Merab [Dvalishvili] have his chance. I’ll be there for his training, but we’ll have to wait and see. In the meantime, I’m all for a relaxing break to heal and rejuvenate. I’ll return to action in 2024.”
Sterling’s outlook remains positive despite the loss. “I didn’t get outclassed, pal, and I wouldn’t know how to even begin to pick up the pieces if I had. Glass half full! Sure, I lost, but I started strong and I know I can bounce back. I’ve been here and done that.”
O’Malley’s victory is a game-changer for the bantamweight division. While Dvalishvili is next in line, his current injury puts Marlon “Chito” Vera’s UFC 292 unanimous decision over Pedro Munhoz in a strong position for a rematch. Cory Sandhagen and Henry Cejudo are also lurking, eager to see how things develop.
Reflecting on his career, Sterling cited his first knockout loss to Marlon Moraes in 2017 as a turning point. His consistent success against striking opponents changed when he faced “Sugar,” costing him his crown in the 135-pound ranks.
“I was on the road to repeating my first-round success,” Sterling reflected, “but I got overzealous, and Sean capitalized. He waited patiently for his shot and cracked it. Kudos to Sean.”
- New Faces: DWCS Season 7, Week 3 results are in with Zach Reese’s 74-second armbar headlining the night.
- Taunts and Trolls: Conor McGregor promises a brutal end for Tony Ferguson, Logan Paul teases Dillon Danis with a birthday cake, and much more.
- Coming Up: Sara McMann (14-6) vs. Leah McCourt (7-3) at Bellator 300 on Oct. 7, Payton Talbott (6-0) vs. Nick Aguirre (7-1) at UFC Vegas 82 on Nov. 18.
- Final Thoughts: The close of the year looks thrilling for the division. O’Malley being the champion is still a pinch-me moment.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword Aljamain Sterling
When is Aljamain Sterling planning to have a rematch with Sean O’Malley?
Sterling is targeting 2024 for a rematch with Sean O’Malley, intending to rest and rejuvenate for the remainder of 2023.
What was Aljamain Sterling’s winning streak before his loss to Sean O’Malley?
Sterling had a record-setting UFC bantamweight winning streak of nine straight triumphs before his loss to O’Malley.
Who might be the next contenders for the bantamweight title?
The logical next contenders for the bantamweight title include Merab Dvalishvili, Marlon “Chito” Vera, Cory Sandhagen, and Henry Cejudo.
How does Aljamain Sterling feel about his loss to Sean O’Malley?
Sterling maintains a positive outlook, emphasizing that he was not outclassed and believes in his ability to bounce back. He acknowledges O’Malley’s skill and his own mistake that cost him the match.
What other fights and events are highlighted in the UFC world?
The text also mentions fights such as Sara McMann vs. Leah McCourt at Bellator 300, Payton Talbott vs. Nick Aguirre at UFC Vegas 82, as well as taunts and trolls among fighters like Conor McGregor and Tony Ferguson.