Read about Aljamain Sterling’s unexpected fight against Sean O’Malley and the mental struggles he faces as the reigning UFC champion. Discover how his dedication to the sport and injuries impact his journey.
|Aljamain Sterling faces an unexpected fight against Sean O’Malley.|
|Sterling had planned to take time off to heal and decompress.|
|His three title defenses have come quickly after a year of inactivity.|
|Sterling admits to still dealing with lingering physical hindrances.|
|His dedication to the sport and struggles with injuries highlight the demanding nature of being a professional fighter.|
Aljamain Sterling, also known as "Funkmaster", has become a dominant force in the bantamweight division of the UFC. With a nine-fight winning streak and three consecutive title defenses, Sterling has proven himself as the reigning champion. However, his upcoming fight against Sean O’Malley on August 19 at UFC 292 in Boston, Massachusetts, came as a surprise to Sterling himself.
Sterling had planned to take some time off to heal and decompress after his victory over Henry Cejudo at UFC 288 in May. He expressed his need to rest and step away from the constant mental preparation required for fights. However, the announcement of the fight with O’Malley came just two weeks after his previous win, leaving Sterling feeling forced into another battle.
"People don’t understand how much time I actually put into this sport," Sterling shared on his YouTube channel. "Sometimes you could get a little burned out. Sometimes that can take a lot out of you mentally. That’s why, after this fight, I had so many things planned out, that I just wanted to decompress and stop thinking about fighting for once because I do so much to get ready for battle."
Sterling’s three title defenses have come relatively quickly, considering he missed a full year of action after winning the title against Petr Yan in March 2021. He underwent neck surgery and made a successful comeback, defeating Yan again and then T.J. Dillashaw. Despite his active participation in fights, Sterling admits to still dealing with lingering physical hindrances.
"Like I said, I still have injuries that I’m nursing to this day, and I’m not going to stop saying that," Sterling emphasized. "No one is 100 percent healthy going into a fight, and clearly, I just fought. Henry just pulled out of a fight because he’s not 100 percent healthy. I wonder why that happened."
In conclusion, Aljamain Sterling’s unexpected fight against Sean O’Malley has posed mental and physical challenges for the reigning UFC champion. Despite his desire for rest and healing, Sterling has been pushed into another battle sooner than anticipated. His dedication to the sport and his struggles with injuries highlight the demanding nature of being a professional fighter.
|UFC 288||May 2023||Henry Cejudo||Split Decision|
|UFC 292||August 19||Sean O’Malley||TBD|