Daniel Cormier believes Sean O’Malley is the opponent UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling has been crying out for.
Sterling recently defended his bantamweight title for the third time following a split decision victory over Henry Cejudo this past weekend at UFC 288.
He is now set to defend his title against O’Malley in a fight likely to take place at UFC 292 in Boston later this year according to Dana White.
It is likely to be his last fight at 135 pounds as well before moving up to featherweight and although he holds a number of records such as the most consecutive bantamweight title defenses and the longest active winning streak in bantamweight history (9), Cormier feels Sterling doesn’t get the respect and appreciation he deserves.
That could change with a decisive win over O’Malley, which would also greatly enhance his public profile much like how beating Conor McGregor did for Khabib Nurmagomedov.
“If Aljo can get through Sean, (it) will elevate Aljo to a point where it’s undeniable,” Cormier said on his ESPN show (via MMA Junkie). “Because for as good as Khabib (Nurmagomedov) was, he wasn’t the Khabib we know today with 30 million Instagram followers until he beat Conor McGregor.”
Of course, O’Malley is nowhere near as popular as McGregor. However, he still has a massive mainstream audience and is undoubtedly one of the more popular fighters on the UFC roster today.
Sterling and O’Malley notably faced off after UFC 288 and Cormier had two takeaways from what was a heated staredown.
“First off, Sean O’Malley seems very confident going into the fight with Aljamain Sterling and why wouldn’t he be when he hasn’t really been tested in that way outside of Petr Yan?” Cormier added. “Two things stood out, though: One, Sean O’Malley looked huge. Aljamain Sterling is one of the biggest guys in that weight class. He’s one of the tallest guys. … Secondly, he kept saying you’re gonna fight much sooner than you think you are.
“What is Sean O’Malley alluding to? What does he know that Aljo may not even know yet. He’s telling him he’s gonna be cutting the weight right now because they’re gonna fight again. I mean, are they gonna try to turn Aljamain Sterling around in three months, four months, to make him fight Sean O’Malley?”
As we now know, it does look like Sterling will be competing in three months’ time.
The post Daniel Cormier drops Khabib truth bomb on Aljamain Sterling vs. Sean O’Malley UFC 292 fight appeared first on ClutchPoints.