Aljamain Sterling’s TKO Loss At UFC 292 Sets Up The “Suga” Sean O’Malley Era

Aljamain Sterling faced “Suga” Sean O’Malley last night at the TD Bank Garden Arena in Boston, Massachusetts, and walked out without his strap as “The Funkmaster” was dethroned in two rounds. O’Malley unleashed a right hook that flattened Sterling, and after a flurry of hammer fists to Sterling, who could not recover, the referee waved off the fight at 51 seconds of the second round.

For Sterling (23-4), the defeat provided a reflective experience as a champion who was never fully accepted by an MMA audience that both revered him as possibly the best UFC bantamweight ever but also forced him into the heel position for no other reason than he does not fit the cultural mold of the audience UFC markets towards.

Humble In Defeat

“I don’t come from the best household, so just being able to find inspiration in other people and carve out your own path that’s the one thing I love about the sport,” Sterling said in the post-fight press conference. “It’s allowed me to do things my way. Life is good; I’ve got my family, I’ve got my beautiful fiancée.

“It’s the things that matter the most in life,” Sterling. “Competition is OK but this has really helped change my life…I fell short, but it happens. I’m bulletproof, no one can shake me mentally. Yeah, I played the heel and everything, but at the end of the day, chase your dreams. Life is short.”

The Next McGregor?

O’Malley (17-1) is now the second alumnus from Dana White’s Contender Series to win a UFC title, behind Jamahal Hill. With his colorful braids and brash style, O’Malley has taken a fast route to popularity, and his defeat of Sterling is reminiscent of another fighter of Irish descent who knocked out a champ to become an icon, Conor McGregor.

McGregor’s 13-second, first-round KO of Josè Aldo to unify the UFC featherweight championship at UFC 194 in 2015 catapulted him into superstardom. O’Malley defeating Sterling in front of an Irish-American Boston crowd might have done the same.

“In my eyes, Aljamain Sterling is the best bantamweight of all time, so yeah, I was a little bit nervous but for this fight but I never lost the confidence because I know what I possess in this f***ing right hand, baby!” a victorious O’Malley told Joe Rogan in the Octagon.

“I said going into this fight that it only takes one mistake against me…this is just the beginning of the ‘Suga’ era,” O’Malley promised. “I’m running this s**t until 2035, baby!”

O’Malley let it be known that he has his sights set on boxing in the future and wants Gervonta “Tank” Davis but right now the UFC will decide if he rematches Sterling. Prepare for the start of the “Suga Sean” era.

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