Aljamain Sterling Says He Accepted Fight With Sean O’Malley ‘Against My will’

Bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling will be defending his title against Sean O’Malley at UFC 292 in Boston on August 19th, but he’s making it clear that he’s doing so ‘against my will.’

“People don’t understand how much time I actually put into this sport,” Sterling said on YouTube. “Sometimes you could get a little burned out. Sometimes that can take a lot out of you mentally. That’s why, after this fight, I had so much things with Henry, so many things planned out, that I just wanted to decompress and stop thinking about fighting for once because I do so much to get to the fight and prep myself to mentally get ready for battle.

“I had that just kind of ripped from underneath my legs. Now I’m like, ‘Okay, this time you motherf*****s are not doing this to me again.’ I’m going to fight, even though it’s literally against my will. People can say whatever — if Dana [White] were to hear this, Hunter [Campbell] were to hear this, they would say, ‘We’re not making him do anything.’ Let’s be real here, bro. Come on, dude. You kind of are. Let’s call a spade a spade.”

Sterling had previously put the fight in doubt when he claimed that it was dependent on whether he’d be healthy in time, and though he’s going ahead with it he says that he does still have lingering injury issues.

“Like I said, I still have injuries that I’m still nursing to this day, and I’m not going to stop saying that. People can get mad at me. ‘You’re disclosing that you’re not 100 percent healthy.’ No one is 100 percent healthy going into a fight, and clearly, I just fought.

“Henry just pulled out of a fight because he’s not 100 percent healthy. I wonder why that happened. … Behind the scenes, [UFC executives] have their ways to kind of make you, ‘Okay, I’m going to do this for you guys again, even though I’m not going to get any thank yous for it.’”

Sterling is currently on a nine-fight winning streak in the division and has successfully defended his title three times against Petr Yan, TJ Dillashaw and Henry Cejudo since first winning the belt back in March of 2021.

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