Aljamain Sterling: Sean O’Malley not that big of a draw, and title fight ‘ain’t going to be in freaking Boston’
UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling isn’t sold on Sean O'Malley’s star power.
Sterling (23-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC) is expected to defend his title against O’Malley next. After he retained his bantamweight title against Henry Cejudo in this past Saturday’s UFC 288 headliner, Sterling called O’Malley into the octagon for a faceoff.
O’Malley (16-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) declared himself the biggest draw in the bantamweight division, but Sterling says nothing points to that.
“Sean O’Malley is definitely the No. 1 contender, so he’s going to get the next fight. But he’s not this big draw that he thinks he is,” Sterling said. “If he was as big of a draw as he says he was, he would have done bigger numbers than Bo Nickal did on (Dana White’s) Contender Series. I think we all know that’s not the case. So in his universe, he thinks he’s this big guy. But this is the Aljamain Sterling show.”
Sterling also doesn’t get the appeal behind O’Malley’s character, and questions what makes him a star.
“He’s a funny dude when he wants to be,” Sterling said. “I don’t get the infatuation with him, like in terms of his personality. When he talks, I’m like, ‘I don’t get what the big deal is about him.’ Conor (McGregor), I get the Conor thing. The stuff that he says is funny. It’s witty. Sean ain’t saying no sh*t like that. He’s just, like, talking. I guess it’s just the colorful hair, the face tattoos. He’s got some serious skills, I guess.”
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O’Malley wants to challenge Sterling at UFC 292, which is expected to take place Aug. 19 in Boston. But “The Funkmaster” said he won’t fight again until September.
“He’s coming into the Aljamain Sterling show, and I’m going to dictate and pick where we’re going to fight – and it ain’t going to be freaking Boston,” Sterling said. “Sean O’Malley does not get a say in where this fight is going to take place. He’s going to fight on my time and when I feel like going out and competing again. I said September, so he better pony up and be ready to fight in September.”