With Aljamain Sterling voicing his desire to move up a weight class no matter the outcome, Sean O’Malley is feeling more than confident heading into UFC 292.
In fact, O’Malley is calling his situation a “win-win” scenario. If that’s the case, then the top bantamweight contender could be entering the cage feeling loose.
According to MMA Junkie, Sean O’Malley doesn’t feel much pressure heading into his fight against Aljamain Sterling. He loves feeling like the underdog and he’s clearly using that to his advantage.
“I kind of like being the underdog, being doubted. Going into this fight, I don’t have much pressure. He’s the bantamweight GOAT. He’s on a nine-fight winning streak and he’s saying I haven’t earned the shot. How stupid will he look when I go out there and knock him out, not even having earned being in that position, and putting his lights out. It makes him look real stupid.”
On top of that, Sterling’s known desire to move up to featherweight is seemingly taking even more pressure off of O’Malley’s shoulders, per MMA Junkie. He explains how his fight on Saturday night is a win-win situation.
“If I go out there and knock him out and he goes up to 145, boom, I carry on what he was doing in the division, taking people out. If he goes out there and wins and moves up to 145, I’m the last person to fight for the belt. I’m the champ either way. I like this situation. It’s a win-win either way.”
This is the exact mindset Sean O’Malley needs to have entering this fight. He’s not wrong either. Especially considering how dominant Aljamain Sterling has been in the bantamweight division.
Sterling has everything to lose while O’Malley has everything to gain.
On the flip side, once could argue that the current champ has removed pressure off his own shoulders by claiming he wants to move up a weight class no matter the outcome of his fight against O’Malley.
With that said, this should be a great matchup. We should expect to see Sterling try to take this to the ground. But if O’Malley can keep the fight on the feet, then he could take home the belt.
UFC 292 is available via pay-per-view and airs at 10 P.M. Eastern through ESPN+ on Saturday, August 19.