Israel Adesanya weighs in on referee Marc Goddard’s stoppage in Sean O’Malley vs. Aljamain Sterling title fight: “Could have gone longer”

By Cole Shelton - August 21, 2023

UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya thinks Marc Goddard could have let Sean O’Malley vs. Aljamain Sterling go a bit longer.

Israel Adesanya, Sean O'Malley, Aljamain Sterling

In the second round of the bantamweight title fight at UFC 292, O’Malley dropped Sterling with a counter right hand and landed some heavy ground-and-pound shots. Although O’Malley did land some clean shots, Sterling was looking like he was trying to scramble but Goddard stepped in and stopped the fight.

When Goddard stopped the fight, many thought it could have gone a bit longer including Israel Adesanya. However, he believes if it did go longer, it could have been even worse for Sterling.

“It could have gone for a little bit longer, but it would have been bad. It was just on. He was standing over him… Clean finish,” Adesanya said on his YouTube channel (h/t MMANews).

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Aljamain Sterling, meanwhile, agreed with Israel Adesanya as he felt like he could have kept going, but does understand why the ref stopped it when he did.

“I felt like the fight could’ve still kept going, to be honest,” Sterling said. “I rolled over to try to come back up, and as soon as he stepped in, I was fine. It was just one of those things. I can’t be mad at the ref. It is what it is.”

Even though Israel Adesanya thinks the fight could have gone a bit longer, he wasn’t surprised to see Sean O’Malley win. In the lead-up to the scrap at UFC 292, ‘The Last Stylebender’ picked O’Malley to beat Aljamain Sterling as he figured it was destiny.

“Destiny. That’s destiny, man. What did I say? I said he’s gonna touch him, he’s gonna knock him out,” Adesanya said. “Take the moment in, son. It’s called destiny, man. Sometimes, when it’s a n*****’s time, it’s a n*****’s time.”


Aljamain Sterling Israel Adesanya Sean O'Malley UFC