Discover what’s next for former UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling after his loss to Sean O’Malley. Get insights on the missed opportunity to challenge featherweight kingpin Alexander Volkanovski and the potential matchups in the division.
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling faced a devastating defeat at the hands of Sean O’Malley in the UFC 292 pay-per-view (PPV) main event. Not only did Sterling lose his 135-pound title, but he also missed out on the chance to challenge featherweight kingpin Alexander Volkanovski for a shot at becoming a champ-champ.
Volkanovski expressed sympathy for Sterling, acknowledging the desire for a rematch. However, he made it clear that a fight between them is not on the horizon. Volkanovski also mentioned that if Sterling had secured a significant victory, he could have potentially taken the spot of Ilia Topuria, who currently holds the fifth rank in the featherweight division.
While Volkanovski had initially hoped for a rematch with Islam Makhachev, the lightweight champion is already scheduled to face Charles Oliveira later this year. As a result, Volkanovski will now turn his attention to Ilia Topuria, who surprised everyone with his silence on social media following the UFC event.
Volkanovski, who is still recovering from arm surgery, expressed his eagerness to return to the octagon before the end of the year. He emphasized his desire for a rematch with Makhachev but acknowledged that it might not happen due to the timing of Makhachev’s upcoming fight in October. Volkanovski urged Topuria to continue speaking out, as it only fueled his motivation to face him in the ring.
With UFC 296 in December currently lacking a championship main event, the question remains: What’s next for Aljamain Sterling and the other fighters in the division?