Teddy Atlas explains what went wrong for Aljamain Sterling in UFC 292 title loss against Sean O’Malley

By Fernando Quiles - August 20, 2023

Legendary boxing trainer Teddy Atlas thinks he knows what went wrong for Aljamain Sterling at UFC 292.

Aljamain Sterling

Sterling put the UFC Bantamweight Championship at stake inside the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts on August 19. Standing across the Octagon from him was Sean O’Malley. After a very patient opening round, O’Malley found his counter punch within the first minute of the second stanza. O’Malley cracked Sterling with a right hand and sent him to the canvas. O’Malley picked his shots on the ground carefully and the fight was stopped.


Teddy Atlas On Aljamain Sterling Loss

Teddy Atlas was an analyst on the UFC 292 post-fight show that aired on ESPN+. During the show, Atlas explained why he thinks Sterling got caught in the second round (h/t MMAFighting.com).

“I think that this whole night came down to the first round, and here’s what I’m gonna tell [you], because everyone’s gonna say Teddy, what are you talking about?” Atlas said on the UFC 292 post-show on ESPN+. “That first round was a no-no round. It was a terrible round, [a] nothing happened round.

“No, something did happen. They were both being very careful. Nobody wanted to make a mistake. And then at the end, Sterling got in on him, and got a little aggressive, and you even said it to me – you said, ‘Now he’s getting closer, he’s pressing forward, he’s gonna be able to continue doing it.’ That’s the problem. In his mind, the end of that round, the success of the end of that round led to his demise, because now he’s gonna be a little more aggressive.”

Atlas went on to say that being aggressive against a counter puncher is a mistake. He said that throwing a counter puncher off guard with your jab and feints is the direction Sterling should’ve gone in.


Aljamain Sterling Sean O'Malley UFC