How Does Sean O’Malley Fare Against Aljamain Sterling?

How Does Sean O’Malley Fare Against Aljamain Sterling?
Image ©Craig Kidwell-USA TODAY Sports
✍️ Written by
Frank Weber
🗓 Updated
May 19th 2023

Another pay-per-view passes and the Bantamweight belt is still in the hands of Aljamain Sterling…so yep. I was wrong.

I truthfully thought that Henry Cejudo would just wrestle Sterling to death, and for a second there it did seem like he would, but it was Aljo that got his hand raised via split decision at UFC 288.

Now, a third title defense against Sean O’Malley awaits him, and there is already a suspected date for the bout.

On August 19th, the UFC is traveling to Boston for UFC 291. That is rumored to be the fight date, although DraftKings Sportsbook has it set for September 30th.

Either way, it’s not a matter of IF the fight happens, it’s only a matter of WHEN. And When it does, I want you all to be prepared. So, here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming fight between Aljamain Sterling and Sean O’Malley.

Sterling vs O’Malley Odds

As of right now, DraftKings Sportsbooks lists the champ Aljamain Sterling as the favorite at -225. Sean O’Malley bettors will be happy to get him at +190.

Sterling vs O’Malley Predictions

Just looking at this on paper, each fighter has a clear advantage of their own. O’Malley is obviously more skilled with his hands, while Sterling is definitely the better wrestler. While that’s all true, it’s not as easy as it may seem.

In O’Malley’s last fight, he showed some great takedown defense against a strong wrestler in Petr Yan. O’Malley was able to snuff seven of Yan’s takedown attempts–Nice! But on the flip side of things, Yan managed to take him down six times…not nice.

That said, that fight was back in October, so maybe he’s been beefing up his takedown defense even MORE. If he hasn’t been, then I suggest he starts up because that could be a problem against a guy like Aljamain Sterling.

Sterling attempted 15 takedowns against Henry Cejudo on Saturday, landing four of them. While that clip isn’t great, you have to remember who Henry Cejudo is, which is one of the best wrestlers this organization has ever seen.

Four takedowns against Cejudo would equate to about ten against O’Malley, so he could be in for a long night if he doesn’t work on his takedown defense.

But, to O’Malley’s strengths, every round starts standing–and that’s where he can do some serious damage.

O’Malley has four inches on Sterling and an inch in reach which could be a HUGE advantage in the striking realm. If O’Malley can use his kicks and keep his distance,\ then the takedown may not even be an option for Aljo.

At the end of the day though, I think Aljo is just too much for O’Malley to handle.

As of right now, and things may change, I’m riding with Sterling.

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