UFC, MMA Fighting & Combat Sports Lifestyle

UFC, MMA Fighting & Combat Sports Lifestyle

Aljamain Sterling’s Potential Showdown with Sean O’Malley Could Solidify His Status as One of the Bantamweight Division’s Greatest

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Aljamain Sterling, the UFC bantamweight champion, has consistently fought for recognition throughout his career. While his victory over Henry Cejudo at UFC 288 was deserving of praise, a win against Sean O’Malley at UFC 292 could solidify his status as one of the greatest fighters in the 135-pound division, according to UFC analyst Alan Jouban.

Jouban believes that Sterling’s win over Cejudo will garner more support from fans, as it demonstrated his abilities in a five-round fight. Despite the challenging matches against Petr Yan and an injured T.J. Dillashaw, Sterling didn’t receive the recognition he deserved. However, defeating Cejudo, with successful takedowns, reversals, and positioning, demands respect. Jouban sees the potential clash with O’Malley as an opportunity for Sterling to gain even more respect.

O’Malley has become a highly-discussed fighter in the UFC and a significant draw at the box office since joining the roster. His victory over former champion Yan earned him the top contender spot in the bantamweight division. However, Jouban believes that O’Malley will face a difficult challenge against Sterling, who matches him in size and poses a more formidable test than Yan.

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The stylistic matchup favors Sterling due to his height, reach, and grappling skills. O’Malley’s small waist and limited escape options make it challenging for him to avoid being controlled on the ground. Jouban predicts that if Sterling secures an early takedown, he could potentially finish O’Malley with a dominant submission, solidifying his status as one of the greatest fighters in the division.

Although O’Malley possesses knockout power and skill in striking, Jouban doubts that he will find the same success against Sterling as he did against Yan. Sterling’s constant lateral movement, long-range kicks, and feints make it difficult for O’Malley to land clean shots. The distance and mobility favor Sterling in this game.

From a financial perspective, the fight benefits both fighters. O’Malley’s star power attracts a larger audience, which ultimately results in financial gain for both fighters. Jouban believes that this fight presents an opportunity for Sterling to establish his legacy as one of the greatest bantamweight champions in UFC history while facing less risk compared to his previous bout against Cejudo.

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