O’Malley claimed the 135-pound championship Aug. 19 at UFC 292 after he finished Sterling 51 seconds into the second round of their headlining bout. Afterward, O’Malley turned his attention to a rematch with Vera, who handed “Suga” the only loss of his career three years ago.
It remains unclear what O’Malley will do for his first title defense, but Sterling and his teammate, Merab Dvalishvili, sit at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, in the official UFC bantamweight rankings, while Vera is No. 6. Given that’s the case, it’s clear to Sterling what O’Malley’s options should be – and he shared that message following a grappling win over Mike Grundy on Saturday at Polaris 25.
“I’ve got a message for Mr. ‘Sugar Tits,’ because he’s still that to me,” Sterling said, calling out O’Malley. “Hey, give me my rematch or fight Merab. It’s that simple. Stop ducking the top contenders and be a man and be a real champ and fight the best of the best. That’s what I did. Now you need to turn around and do the same exact sh*t.”
Aljamain Sterling with a message to Sean O’Malley following his victory at Polaris 25 pic.twitter.com/JL7Xkapc3G
— 𝙗𝙡𝙤𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙙 (@kxngdacv) September 30, 2023
Dvalishvili is on a nine-fight winning streak after winning a clean-sweep unanimous decision against former champ Petr Yan this past March. Vera, meanwhile, is coming off a unanimous decision win over Pedro Munhoz at UFC 292, which put “Chito” back on track after a loss to fellow contender Cory Sandhagen in March.