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Morning Summary: Aljamain Sterling’s unwillingly scheduled title defense against Sean O’Malley

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Aljamain Sterling title defense

Aljamain Sterling, the current UFC bantamweight champion nicknamed “Funkmaster,” has been pressured into an earlier-than-desired fight.

Enjoying a streak of nine wins, Sterling’s victory against Henry Cejudo in a split decision at UFC 288 this May added to his burgeoning success. His third consecutive title defense positioned Sterling for a matchup with top-ranked Sean O’Malley.

Though a 2023 fight was anticipated for Sterling, he hadn’t expected to face O’Malley as early as August 19 at UFC 292 in Boston, Massachusetts. This fight was revealed barely two weeks after Sterling’s triumph over Cejudo, and he was clear about his need for recuperation, stating that the fight hadn’t been entirely finalized at the time of the announcement.

Sterling voiced his frustration on his YouTube channel, emphasizing the intense dedication he gives to his sport. He expressed feeling overwhelmed and needing a mental break from fighting, only to have his break unexpectedly cut short. Despite his objections, he is compelled to fight, hinting at pressure from the UFC management.

Sterling, who hails from Uniondale, NY, underwent a one-year hiatus following his win against Petr Yan in March 2021 to claim the title. Post neck surgery, he returned stronger, defeating Yan once more and then defeating T.J. Dillashaw with a second-round ground and pound TKO.

Even as he maintains an active profile post-surgery, Sterling emphasizes his ongoing physical struggles as he prepares for his faceoff with O’Malley.

Sterling stressed that, despite criticism, he will continue to speak about his ongoing injuries, pointing out that no fighter is fully healthy when entering a fight. He referenced Henry Cejudo’s recent withdrawal from a fight due to health concerns and hinted at behind-the-scenes pressure from UFC executives.


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The atmosphere may heat up as the fight approaches. Sterling’s perspective on Dana’s reaction seems accurate.

Thank you for reading!


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Yair Rodriguez and Alexandre Pantoja
Cast your vote!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Aljamain Sterling title defense

Who is Aljamain Sterling set to fight next?

Aljamain Sterling is set to fight Sean O’Malley in his next title defense.

Why is Sterling reluctant about his upcoming fight?

Sterling is reluctant about his upcoming fight because he feels it has been scheduled too soon after his win over Henry Cejudo. He believes he needs more time to heal from ongoing injuries.

When and where will Sterling’s next fight take place?

Sterling’s next fight is scheduled for August 19, 2023, at UFC 292 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Who was Sterling’s previous opponent?

Sterling’s previous opponent was Henry Cejudo, whom he defeated at UFC 288 in May.

What are Sterling’s recent achievements?

Sterling is the reigning UFC bantamweight champion, having secured a nine-fight winning streak. His victories include a split decision win against Henry Cejudo and a successful title defense against T.J. Dillashaw.

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