Ray Longo has “no knowledge” of Aljamain Sterling agreeing to fight Sean O’Malley at UFC 292

By Cole Shelton - May 17, 2023

Ray Longo, the head coach of Aljamain Sterling, says the UFC prematurely announced his fighter’s title defense against Sean O’Malley at UFC 292.

Aljamain Sterling, Ray Longo

After Sterling defended his bantamweight title for the third time at UFC 288 with a decision victory over Henry Cejudo, O’Malley came into the cage to faceoff with the champ. Following the staredown, O’Malley said he wanted to get the fight done as soon as possible while Sterling said he was dealing with a few injuries and wanted September.

However, on Tuesday, Dana White announced that Aljamain Sterling will defend his bantamweight title against Sean O’Malley at UFC 292 on August 19. Immediately, many fans got excited as the fight is happening fairly soon but Longo says Sterling has never agreed to the fight.

“Who could possibly like that? I don’t think that’s right… It’s a way of putting pressure on fighters… You heard O’Malley after the fight saying. ‘Quick as possible.’ Smart. Who the f**k is he to dictate anything?,” Longo said to Shakiel Mahjouri.

If Ray Longo is telling the truth, it is not a good look that the UFC announced Sterling vs. O’Malley before it was agreed to. But, it wouldn’t be the first time this has happened, as several fighters have gone public about their frustrations over such dealings. Regardless, it is set that Sterling will face O’Malley next time out, but perhaps it isn’t in August as the champ did say that could be too quick of a turnaround for him.

Aljamain Sterling (23-3) is coming off the decision win over Henry Cejudo and before that, he TKO’d TJ Dillashaw. To defend his title for the first time, he picked up a split decision win over Petr Yan. Sterling had won the belt by DQ against Yan at UFC 259 in March 2021. Sterling is also riding a nine-fight win streak and also holds notable wins over Cory Sandhagen and Pedro Munhoz, among others.

Do you think Aljamain Sterling vs. Sean O’Malley happens at UFC 292?