Sterling defeated TJ Dillashaw in his latest bantamweight title defense at UFC 280 last month. After the fight, he hinted at taking some time to rest after three-straight five-round training camps.
As Sterling begins his planned hiatus, he doesn’t have any shortage of potential challengers waiting in the wings. This includes Sean O’Malley, who earned the No. 1 contender spot by defeating Petr Yan via a split decision at UFC 280.
Sterling envisions a return to the Octagon next summer, although he might opt to return earlier depending on how the next few months play out. O’Malley is a possible opponent and is the preferred option for Sterling.
If Sterling is set on facing O’Malley next while also taking a break, there might be a solution to ensure both of those things can happen.
Aljamain Sterling Is Open To Coaching TUF With Sean O’Malley
After one Twitter user pitched the idea of Sterling and O’Malley coaching the next The Ultimate Fighter season together, Sterling seemed open to the possibility.
“Not a bad idea at all!” Sterling replied.
A Sterling/O’Malley TUF season would entice most UFC fans, although O’Malley might be against the idea. He’s questioned Sterling’s marketability and called Dillashaw a bigger draw for a potential title fight.
The last season of TUF featured bantamweights Amanda Nunes and Julianna Peña ahead of their UFC 277 rematch. After the season, Nunes defeated Peña via a unanimous decision to reclaim the belt.
If O’Malley passes up the opportunity to coach TUF, Henry Cejudo could be another viable option to face Sterling. The next TUF season won’t have details announced for a few months, giving enough time for the pitch to potentially come to fruition.
Would you like Aljamain Sterling and Sean O’Malley to coach the next The Ultimate Fighter season?