It’s a quick turnaround against a high-profile opponent that bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling very much appeared to be bullied into at UFC 292.
But Sterling is showing up and taking on Sean O’Malley none the less, just three months removed from defending his 135lb title against Henry Cejudo. Perhaps that will go a ways to getting the “Funkmaster” the respect he deserves, something that has eluded him since winning the UFC bantamweight championship in March of 2021.
Since that fight — where Sterling became the first fighter in UFC history to win a championship by DQ following an illegal knee by Petr Yan — he has defended his title three times, in a rematch with Yan, and against T.J. Dillashaw and Cejudo. That Dillashaw turned up for the fight injured, later retiring, and with Cejudo returning from retirement, critics of Sterling have had plenty of ammunition.
On the flip side, the 135lb star has defended his belt three times, hasn’t turned down a fight, and has accepted the bout with O’Malley even while dealing with ongoing injury issues throughout the past couple of years. It’s becoming increasingly hard to bet against Sterling, who has suggested UFC 292 could be his swan song at bantamweight before heading up to 145lbs.
In Saturday’s co-main event, Amanda Lemos challenges Weili Zhang for strawweight gold, a bit of a left-field pick given the run Yan Xiaonan has put together.
Weigh-ins for UFC 292 go down Friday in Boston starting at 9AM ET — check below for results!
UFC 292: Sterling vs. O’Malley Weigh-In Results
Bantamweight: Aljamain Sterling (c) (135) vs. Sean O’Malley (135) — for the UFC bantamweight championship
Women’s Strawweight: Zhang Weili (c) (115) vs. Amanda Lemos (114) — for the UFC women’s strawweight championship
Welterweight: Ian Machado Garry (170.5) vs. Neil Magny (170.5)
Bantamweight: Da’Mon Blackshear (135.5) vs. Mario Bautista (136)
Bantamweight: Marlon Vera (136) vs. Pedro Munhoz (135)
Middleweight: Chris Weidman (186) vs. Brad Tavares (185)
Middleweight: Gregory Rodrigues (186) vs. Denis Tiuliulin (186)
Lightweight: Austin Hubbard (155) vs. Kurt Holobaugh (155.5) — TUF 31 lightweight final
Bantamweight: Brad Katona (135) vs. Cody Gibson (135) — TUF 31 bantamweight final
Early preliminary card
Middleweight: Andre Petroski (186) vs. Gerald Meerschaert (185)
Women’s Flyweight: Andrea Lee (125) vs. Natália Silva (125)
Women’s Flyweight: Karine Silva (125) vs. Maryna Moroz (125)