Aljamain Sterling believes the UFC is trying to force Sean O’Malley into “knockoff” Conor McGregor

By Josh Evanoff - May 29, 2023

Bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling knows the UFC wants Sean O’Malley to win in August.

‘The Funk Master’ is fresh off his return in the main event of UFC 288 earlier this month. In the main event, Sterling scored a split-decision victory over ‘Triple C’. Following the win, he had a face-off with Sean O’Malley in the center of the octagon.

Just a few short weeks after that, the two are already slated to compete in the main event of UFC 292. Well, that’s the goal as of now. Over the last few weeks, Sterling has consistently stated that he may require additional time to heal before his return. However, Dana White has been steadfast in the idea that the bantamweight has to defend his title in August.

Earlier this month, O’Malley’s coach, Tim Welch, opined that the UFC wants ‘Sugar’ to win the bantamweight title in August. In a video published on his YouTube channel, Sterling agreed with the trainer. Furthermore, he added that O’Malley and the UFC both seemingly agree that he’s the next Conor McGregor. However, Sterling doesn’t believe he has the same skills to back up the comparison.


Aljamain Sterling

“I agree. I do think the UFC does want that,” Aljamain Sterling stated when asked if the promotion wants Sean O’Malley to be champion. “Then, when [Tim Welch] started going into why [the UFC wants O’Malley to be champion], and started calling him a knockout artist. Like, not saying he’s never knocked anybody out, but it’s just very different now that he’s swimming with the big boys.”

He continued, “We haven’t quite seen these magic knockouts. This, wannabe, knockoff, Conor McGregor, that was the trajectory he was on. But for some reason, people don’t got the formula or the juice to be Conor.”

What do you make of these comments from Aljamain Sterling? Do you believe the UFC wants Sean O’Malley to win in August?


Aljamain Sterling Conor McGregor Sean O'Malley