UFC 292 Recap: Sean O’Malley stops Aljamain Sterling to become bantamweight champion

MMA: UFC 280-Yan vs O'Malley
Craig Kidwell-USA TODAY Sports

In the main event of UFC 292, the bantamweight title was on the line. Champion Aljamain Sterling (23-3) was looking for his fourth successful title defense as he took on one of the biggest stars in the promotion, “Sugar” Sean O’Malley (16-1, 1 NC).

Last time we saw Sterling was back in May when he defeated Henry Cejudo. It was Sterling’s ninth straight victory. As he continues to get older, he’s admitted that the weight cut to 135 is getting tougher and tougher. Sterling admitted that this could be his last fight at 135 if he’s able to defeat Sean O’Malley.

O’Malley got this title shot on the heels of his close decision win over former champion Petr Yan. Overall, O’Malley entered the octagon tonight 8-1, 1 NC in ten fights inside the octagon. He entered with a ton of momentum and star power, but would it be enough to become UFC champion?

UFC 292 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 292 headliner kicks off with Sterling taking the center and he lands a leg kick. Immediate pressure from the champion as O’Malley circles on the outside. Another nice low kick lands for Sterling and he goes to the body. O’Malley continues to gauge things from the outside.

Sterling is adding up the points here early with volume. Now O’Malley is moving forward and lands a front kick. Sterling moves back to the one advancing. Nothing big has landed for either man here in the opening two minutes. O’Malley holds the center and Sterling starts circling on the outside.

Long jab from O’Malley just misses and Sterling lands a body kick. Halfway through the round and not a ton has happened. Low kick from the champion and O’Malley lands a body kick. Two straight low kicks now from Sterling and then he lands a third. Straight left attempt from O’Malley and Sterling lands another leg kick.

One minute left in the round and the crowd is starting to let both men know about the slow pace. Low kick from Sterling lands. Two kicks miss from Sterling and now O’Malley opens with a spinning back kick. Heavy pressure now from Sterling and he shoots on a single leg. O’Malley stays upright but the round ends and it’s 1-0 Sterling at UFC 292,

Round 2

Entering the second and I don’t think anyone can be too confident that they took the first round. Sterling immediately opens with a body kick. O’Malley goes to throw a kick but slips and Sterling jumps on him. O’Malley springs up and Sterling tries to get him down.

O’Malley breaks free and Sterling goes right back on the pressure. Out of no where a huge shot lands and down goes Sterling. O’Malley is all over him here and Marc Goddard is giving Sterling every opportunity to survive but he’s not going to. He stops the fight and Sean O’Malley is now the UFC bantamweight champion.

Sean O’Malley def. Aljamain Sterling by TKO – Round 2