Coming off a stellar performance at UFC 264 scoring a TKO win over UFC newcomer Kris Moutinho, O’Malley gave his thoughts on the upcoming title fight between current bantamweight champion Sterling and the dangerous Yan whilst giving props to the Russian for his well-roundedness.
“Yeah, I think that Sterling probably, hopefully realized he can’t sprint out there, Petr’s too good, O’Malley told reporters at the post-fight press conference. “He’s high level. He’s a black belt in MMA. He’s well-rounded everywhere. I think he’s one of the best bantamweights right now, obviously.”
O’Malley went on to give his prediction for the fight, saying that he thinks that Yan will beat Sterling to recapture his belt after it was taken away from him in a controversial manner.
“I don’t know, I think Petr beats him again…or whatever,” said O’Malley. “I’m excited for that rematch. I think Aljo has to have a different game plan. I think Petr can outstrike him. I don’t see how Aljo wins, but it’s a fight, so we’ll see.”
Sterling will be making his first title defense against former UFC bantamweight at UFC 267 in October after their first contest ended in controversy. Yan started dominating the fight from the third round whilst Sterling seemed to wilt under the pressure as the fight went on.
In the fourth round, Yan landed a huge knee to Sterling’s head whilst he was down, an illegal move in MMA, which forced the referee to end the bout and disqualify Yan as the American was unable to continue. As a result of the Russian’s disqualification, Sterling was named the winner and the new UFC bantamweight champion.
Who do you think will win in the rematch between Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan?