The main event of UFC 292 features a battle between a dominant champion and the division’s next big star as Aljamain Sterling puts his title on the line against Sean O’Malley.
Sterling has fought against the best the UFC could throw at him at 135 pounds, yet despite turning back those challenges, seemingly still hasn’t won over the majority of the MMA fanbase. Now he’s set to face a fighter who has been embraced by the younger generation of fight fans, as O’Malley steps up to test his mettle against the champion in a bid to become the second Contender Series alum to capture UFC championship gold.
O’Malley smartly kept a lid on his championship aspirations as he began to build some real excitement and anticipation about his abilities as an elite-level fighter. But now, after his split-decision win over former champ Petr Yan at UFC 280, O’Malley finds himself at the top of the list of contenders, and will head into his title challenge with Sterling riding a four-fight win streak, with victories over Thomas Almeida, Kris Moutinho, Raulian Paiva and Yan.
Sterling, however, has kept significantly higher company during his remarkable run of form. “Funkmaster” is riding a nine-fight win streak that stretches back to 2018, with a hugely-impressive roll call of names on that run.
Wins over Brett Johns, Cody Stamann, Jimmie Rivera, Pedro Munhoz, Cory Sandhagen, Petr Yan (twice), TJ Dillashaw, and Henry Cejudo have cemented Sterling as the premier bantamweight in the UFC, and he’ll look to make it 10 in a row when he faces O’Malley on Saturday night.
Ahead of the bout, the UFC’s Countdown cameras caught up with both fighters, and their teams, as they made their final preparations for their championship clash. Check it out via the video player below.