Already a prominent figure in the fighting world, Sean O’Malley can now add the UFC champion title to his list of achievements.
During UFC 292’s main event, O’Malley faced Aljamain Sterling in an attempt to claim the title, having entered the promotion through Dana White’s Contender Series. In a remarkable turn of events, O’Malley swiftly knocked down Sterling with a forceful counter right hand in the early moments of the second round. Sterling tried to recover while moving from his back, but O’Malley relentlessly launched powerful strikes from the top position. Ultimately, referee Marc Goddard was compelled to halt the fight.
The match concluded a mere 51 seconds into the second round, with O’Malley celebrating his new status as the bantamweight division champion. Reflecting on the fight, O’Malley confessed to feeling immense pressure but still managed to deliver an awe-inspiring performance.
Expressing his emotions in a post-fight interview, O’Malley said, “To be honest, this was the most anxious I’ve ever been for a fight. As far as I’m concerned, Aljamain Sterling is the greatest bantamweight of all time. I was a bit nervous, but my confidence never wavered because I understand the power I have in this right hand! I declared before this fight that all it takes is one mistake against me. I’m not even sure if that was a mistake—I’m just that damn good!”
Before the knockout, both fighters engaged in an intense first round, with O’Malley delivering strikes from a distance and Sterling responding with kicks. Sterling managed to land a few leg kicks while O’Malley employed feints and attempted to bait the champion into making an opening for a powerful punch.
Towards the end of the first round, Sterling attempted a takedown, but O’Malley resisted effectively until the round concluded.
When the fight resumed, Sterling displayed greater aggression, although O’Malley seemed to have honed in on his timing, which was precisely his strategy. As Sterling lunged forward with a combination, O’Malley nimbly stepped back and unleashed a devastating right hand that struck its target accurately.
Although Sterling absorbed the blow, he fell to the canvas face-first and tried to defend himself by raising his legs. However, O’Malley continued to strike Sterling due to his impressive reach advantage. When Sterling tried to roll away to protect himself, the referee saw enough and decided to stop the contest.
Sterling exhibited good sportsmanship and congratulated O’Malley, acknowledging his skill and performance. He also admitted that this loss might alter his plans to move to the featherweight division, reflecting on the possibility of staying in the bantamweight division.
With O’Malley now officially the champion, the UFC has gained another charismatic star for promotional purposes. Yet, O’Malley has no intention of simply resting on his laurels. In fact, he’s already focused on seeking revenge in his upcoming fight against the only opponent who has previously defeated him.
Exclaiming his ambitions, O’Malley declared, “This marks just the commencement of the ‘Suga’ era. I’ll be dominating this scene until 2035, my friends. Did ‘Chito’ [Vera] secure a victory? Was it a dull fight? Perhaps. I’ll beat ‘Chito’ in December in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena. Let’s do this!”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Bantamweight Championship
Who claimed the bantamweight title at UFC 292?
Sean O’Malley secured the bantamweight title with a knockout victory over Aljamain Sterling at UFC 292.
How did the fight end?
The fight concluded in the second round with Sean O’Malley delivering a powerful counter right hand that knocked down Aljamain Sterling. O’Malley continued to land strikes from the top position, and the referee stopped the contest, declaring O’Malley the winner by knockout.
What was O’Malley’s approach to the fight?
Sean O’Malley employed striking from a distance and used feints to set up opportunities for power punches. He capitalized on Aljamain Sterling’s lunging attack by countering with a decisive right hand that led to the knockout.
How did Sterling respond to the loss?
Aljamain Sterling exhibited good sportsmanship and congratulated O’Malley on his victory. He also acknowledged O’Malley’s skills and performance and hinted that the loss might affect his future plans to move to the featherweight division.
Who is O’Malley’s next potential opponent?
Sean O’Malley expressed interest in facing his previous opponent, “Chito” Vera, in his next fight. He aimed to settle the score after his earlier loss and announced plans to fight “Chito” Vera in December at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.