What’s next for the stars of UFC 292?

By Cole Shelton - August 21, 2023

The UFC made its return to Boston on Saturday for a solid UFC 292 card that saw two titles on the line, and one change hands.

Sean O'Malley, UFC 292

In the main event, Aljamain Sterling was looking to defend his bantamweight title against Sean O’Malley. The co-main event saw strawweight champion Zhang Weili defending her title against Amanda Lemos.

Ultimately, it was O’Malley who became the new bantamweight champion as he scored a second-round TKO win. In the co-main event, Weili dominated Lemos for all five rounds to win a clear-cut decision. Now, here is what I think should be next for the four fighters involved in the title fights at UFC 292.

Sean O’Malley

Sean O’Malley is the UFC’s bantamweight champion which will only help him become an even bigger star. O’Malley entered the fight as a sizeable underdog. Throughout the week he was oozing with confidence that he would KO Sterling. O’Malley ended up landing a big right hand that dropped Sterling in the second round and finished him off with ground strikes.

After the win, Sean O’Malley called out Marlon Vera for his first title defense who beat Pedro Munhoz to open the main card. Although Vera is not the most deserving title contender, the two have history and it’s the biggest fight to make for O’Malley’s first title defense, and that should happen in December or January.

Aljamain Sterling

Aljamain Sterling is in a weird spot as he was talking about moving up to featherweight after this fight, but after losing said he would remain at bantamweight. The hope for Sterling is to get a rematch with O’Malley, but it doesn’t seem like the UFC is too interested in an immediate rematch.

Ultimately, Sterling is in a weird spot as he has fought most of the top guys at bantamweight. If he does stay at 135lbs, a rematch against Cory Sandhagen to determine the next title contender after Vera makes a ton of sense.

Zhang Weili

Zhang Weili Joe Rogan UFC 292

(via Zuffa LLC)

Zhang Weili remained the strawweight champion with a dominant performance over Amanda Lemos at UFC 292. Weili used her wrestling to control the Brazilian. At times it looked like she would get the finish but never got it.

Now, with the win, Weili’s next title defense should be against Xiaonan Yan. The fight should also take place in China as both hail from the country. It would be a massive fight and Yan deserves a title shot after knocking out Jessica Andrade in the first round her last time out.

Amanda Lemos

Amanda Lemos nearly submitted Zhang Weili in the first round. But, that was about the only time it appeared she would actually get her hand raised. Following the loss, Lemos will be back to the drawing board. A matchup against Virna Jandiroba makes sense for some time in the first quarter of 2024.

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Aljamain Sterling Amanda Lemos Sean O'Malley UFC Weili Zhang