UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling believes Sean O’Malley has a ‘genius’ approach to the fight game.
O’Malley is coming off a first round knockout victory over Raulian Paiva at UFC 269 and is expected to make his return to the Octagon against Pedro Munhoz at UFC 276. Although he’s one of the promotion’s top prospects, he is often criticised for cherry-picking opponents. He even admitted that he doesn’t want to fight ranked opponents, with money as his primary reason.
Munhoz will be O’Malley’s toughest test and also his highest ranked opponent to date. While he’s often criticised for playing it safe, Kevin Lee recently lauded him saying that it is the right approach and he wishes he would have done the same during his UFC career.
Aljamain Sterling On Sean O’Malley
“I think he’s smart, genius,” Sterling said. “That’s kind of what I wanted to do, take my time, build my name up, get some good wins over unranked opponents where I could capitalise on my grappling but still get time to work on my stand-up in real time.
“I had to jump into the top 10 in like my third fight. For him, he’s been able to take his time this entire trek, fighting Paiva who should not have been ranked in the first place. I think he’s tough, he’s smart, he’s doing it the right way, doing it his way on his terms and he’s making good money. He’s utilising the UFC platform and parlaying that into other opportunities for him.”
Sterling is coming off a closely contested split decision victory over Petr Yan in their bantamweight title unifier at UFC 273.
Do you agree with Aljamain Sterling?