LAS VEGAS – Dana White says Aljamain Sterling vs. Sean O’Malley is absolutely happening at UFC 292.
Earlier this week, the promotion announced that bantamweight champion Sterling (23-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC) will defend his title against O’Malley (16-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) in the Aug. 19 headliner at TD Garden in Boston.
Sterling, who’s fresh off a title defense over Henry Cejudo two weeks ago at UFC 288, said he plans on seeing if he’s physically fit to compete in August, prompting O’Malley to say he’s fighting for the belt regardless on that date. Upon hearing Sterling’s statement, Cejudo (16-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) called White offering to fight O’Malley, but White insists that Sterling vs. O’Malley is the matchup that will happen.
“Henry Cejudo calls me and says, ‘This little p*ssy doesn’t want to fight, I’ll take the fight. I’m throwing my hat in right now. Let’s do it, I’ll fight O’Malley,’” White told MMA Junkie and other reporters at the UFC Fight Night 224 post-event news conference. “So Hunter (Campbell), is my neighbor, comes over to my house and says what’s going on?
“And I think we got his manager on the phone and stuff like that, it’s just Aljo’s one of those guys that just can’t get out of his own way. Apparently, he’s in for the fight. Why he said that, who knows? The fight is on. The fight is absolutely, positively on.”
O’Malley’s title fight was immediately set up when Sterling called him into the octagon after defeating Cejudo. But “The Funkmaster” has been dealing with some nagging injuries which he said could delay his return.
“I’m still injured with my legs banged up,” Sterling recently said on his podcast The Weekly Scraps. “My bicep still sucks. I’m supposed to get another MRI on that. I’m trying to get to this fight in August. We’ve talked a little bit about it, and we’ll try to see if we can make it happen. But my leg is still super sensitive to the touch. I hope I’m not ruining anything by me saying that, but guys, I did just fight.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC Fight Night 224.
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