Daniel Cormier believes that UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling should fight Sean O’Malley next.
After his victory against former champion Petr Yan at UFC 280 on Saturday, O’Malley (16-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) ascended to the top of the bantamweight rankings. After losing to Dillashaw, Sterling (22-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) retained his belt with a second-round technical knockout.
UFC president Dana White mentioned former dual-champion Henry Cejudo (16-2 MMA, 10-2 UFC) as Sterling’s next opponent at the post-fight press conference. Cormier, though, believes that O’Malley has done enough to get a crack at the championship.
“I would consider making Sterling’s next fight Sean O’Malley right now,” Cormier said.
“Right now, I would think, let’s do Sean O’Malley. Yesterday on DC & RC, I said it’s going to be Henry Cejudo, and I believe that because Sean O’Malley’s going to need some time to recover because that was a war against Petr Yan.
“I still would think about maybe making this guy next because regardless of what you feel and how you feel the fight was judged, at the end of the day, Sean O’Malley got his hand raised. For the sport, Henry Cejudo, as the guy that left as a double champion, should be next. But it’s more than likely to be Sean O’Malley.”
“Sean O’Malley will be the bigger fight for the champion,” Cormier said.
“It’s that simple. It is what it is because the reality is, part of the retirement for Cejudo was, dude’s competing for a long time at the highest level, but the reality is he wanted more money and that didn’t happen. Why? Because he hasn’t moved the needle as much as he hoped for, or he thought he did.”