Aljamain Sterling admits “trying to be a little bit more exciting” cost him against Sean O’Malley at UFC 292: “I paid for it”

By Harry Kettle - August 21, 2023

Aljamain Sterling has admitted that trying to make his UFC 292 fight more exciting is what cost him against Sean O’Malley.

Aljamain Sterling

In the main event of UFC 292, Aljamain Sterling fell short. He was finished by Sean O’Malley in the second round, losing his UFC bantamweight championship in the process. On the flip side, ‘Suga’ now holds gold at the elite level for the first time in his career.


From the word go, it certainly seemed as if Sterling was struggling to figure O’Malley out. Between his lack of attacks and his inability to get him to the ground, Aljamain appeared to be quite frustrated. Then, in the blink of an eye, his title reign was over.

During the post-fight press conference, the former king gave his thoughts on what went down.

“He stayed disciplined,” Sterling said. “I didn’t want the fight to be boring. I could have sat on the outside and kept playing the leg kick game but then I would have had all the criticisms of everybody else. I was like this is the difference.

Sterling gets honest

“He stayed disciplined to his game plan, and I kind of let trying to be a little bit more of an exciting style for the fans play a factor. We’ve seen the [Israel Adesanya]-Yoel Romero fight. We’ve seen bad fights before, where it’s like not much happens, because no one wants to make that grave mistake. I made the mistake, Sean capitalized. I paid for it.”

“He was better than what I thought in his footwork,” Sterling explained. “That was one of the things I tried to get guys to emulate, because I knew that is a hard thing to do. I do it myself when I go side to side, but it’s different when someone else is doing it to you, and I can’t track this motherf***** down. I tracked him down a couple of times, but then he would spin out at the last second. I think I threw a side kick, and he was able to pivot out beautifully. He did a couple things really, really well.”

Quotes via MMA Fighting

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