Aljamain Sterling says Sean O’Malley is “the real deal”

Aljamain Sterling
Image via @ufc on Instagram

UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling praised fellow divisional rival Sean O’Malley, suggesting that “Suga” is “the real deal.”

Sterling is coming off of his title fight DQ win over Aljamain Sterling at UFC 259 last month, a victory that saw him crowned the new champion at 135lbs. While Sterling appears poised for a rematch with his rival Petr Yan sometime later this year, he’s obviously still very aware of what else is going on in his division, and one of the fighters he’s keeping a close eye on is O’Malley. Coming off of an incredible KO win over Thomas Almeida at UFC 260, O’Malley appears poised to breakout in 2021 provided he can stay healthy. What O’Malley did against Almeida hasn’t gone unnoticed by anyone, namely the champion himself.

Speaking to James Lynch, Sterling praised O’Malley, suggesting that he will be a tough matchup for a lot of fighters at 135lbs due to his incredible striking attack and the fact he’s blessed with such a long reach and good footwork. Though Sterling still has some questions about O’Malley’s defensive wrestling, overall he has been very impressed by the youngster.

“O’Malley, I think he’s the real deal. We don’t know how good he is off of his back yet. But in terms of his feet, his footwork, he’s a tough out I think for a lot of people because he’s long, he’s rangy, and he knows how to move on the feet,” Sterling said.

O’Malley is still not ranked at 135lbs after losing to Chito Vera last summer, but with more destructive wins as he did to Almeida, it won’t be long until “Suga” breaks back into the top-15 in the UFC bantamweight division. If he can go on a winning streak and Sterling and keep his belt, who knows, but maybe this is a fight we will see for the belt one day.

Do you agree with Aljamain Sterling that Sean O’Malley is “the real deal”?

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