Morning Report: Aljamain Sterling says Chito Vera ‘was a tailor-made fight for Sean O’Malley to look great’


Sean O’Malley’s reign as the UFC bantamweight champion will continue beyond UFC 299.

The “Sugar Show” was in full effect for the second consecutive time as a main event attraction this past Saturday night. In front of a raucous Miami, Fla., crowd, O’Malley had the opportunity to get back the lone loss of his 20-fight career (18-1, 1 NC) when tasked with Marlon “Chito” Vera.

Vera played spoiler for the rising superstar O’Malley and his flawless record in August 2020. Unfortunately for Ecuador’s finest, he was unable to replicate his first-round TKO performance and instead lost a one-sided unanimous decision in their UFC 299 headliner rematch. The win was O’Malley’s second in title fights after he captured the title against Aljamain Sterling at UFC 292 this past August. Despite Sterling’s teammate and fellow top contender Merab Dvalishvili seeming like the clear next-best option at the time, the promotion made O’Malley’s rematch. Even after the redemptive effort, O’Malley didn’t put full focus on Dvalishvili as he first called for the featherweight champion, Ilia Topuria.

Now a featherweight himself, Sterling was frustrated by the post-fight antics of his most recent rival.

“He should have called out Merab and did the right thing,” Sterling said of O’Malley on his YouTube channel. “I think it’s kind of ridiculous for him to say, ‘Dana [White], get the jet to Spain.’ Like what’re you talking about, dude? You defended the belt against a guy who wasn’t even ranked in the Top 5. They moved him up to the Top 5 to make it look like it was better like he fought a Top 5 opponent. How did Chito move up in the rankings? Who did he beat to move up in the rankings? He just barely beat Pedro Munhoz, who Pedro just lost a pretty decisive fight to Kyler Phillips.

“No knock on Pedro, I’m not trying to throw strays. I’m just trying to call a spade a spade. Yeah, [O’Malley] won, but it would be nice to fight a guy who’s next in line. So, that’s the only thing that I feel a little bit awkward about. Yeah, you won, but you won against a guy we were all expecting you to beat. So, as a champion, it’s hard for me to put a lot of stock in that because I just can’t respect it as much.”

Sterling, 34, understood and was fine with potentially sounding “salty” when he spoke about the situation atop his now former division. Had it not been for O’Malley, a title fight opposite Vera would have been Sterling’s fourth title defense.

O’Malley, 29, had already been vocal about wanting his champion vs. champion tilt before Topuria became the champion at UFC 298 with a second-round knockout of Alexander Volkanovski last month. The Helena, Montana native has stated he likes the sound of the excitement and danger that “El Matador” brings up at 145 pounds. However, when it comes to bantamweight challengers, Dvalishvili is the one he finds most logical.

“The Machine” is currently riding a bantamweight record 10-fight winning streak (17-4), after all.

“At the end of the day, if you beat the next best guy, that’s a true champion,” Sterling said. “I think anybody with any type of respect for the game — you can say, ‘Well, that’s not the way the sport is being played anymore.’ That’s fair, but we’re talking about credibility in terms of the win. You go out there against a guy you’re supposed to beat and you beat him to a decision. Even O’Malley was kind of like, ‘Damn, I really thought I could finish him.’ That would have been a perfect highlight-reel.

“A win, but now you kind of have that question mark of, ‘Well, if you fought the next best guy, would that fight look the same? If you fought [Cory] Sandhagen, if you fought Merab, would that fight have looked the same?’ It’s a good win to get your feet wet as the bantamweight king and I do look forward to O’Malley hopefully doing the right thing and calling out Merab. UFC doing the right thing and making this fight.

“It’s an opportunity for the UFC and Sean to do the right thing,” he concluded. “Be the gangster. Be the badass. Call out the next best guy. Get people to see that you’re not afraid to fight the biggest best guys in the division. Not picking fights that are gonna make you look like a superstar. That was a tailor-made fight [with Vera] for Sean to look great.”

Sterling will make his featherweight debut against Calvin Kattar at UFC 300 next month.

Lineup. UFC 300 card finalized after 1 last fight added, bout order set with main card and prelims

Redemption. Sean O’Malley: ‘Officially I’m undefeated again’ after UFC 299 revenge win over Chito Vera

Aftermath. UFC 299: 7 biggest takeaways from an epic night in Miami

Battle. Benoit Saint Denis: UFC 299 performance sapped by pre-fight antibiotic treatment

Crossover. Dana White reacts to Francis Ngannou suffering brutal knockout loss to Anthony Joshua

Boxing. Mike Perry: ‘I think 57-year-old Mike Tyson is a problem’ for Jake Paul

Diamond. Dana White praises Dustin Poirier after UFC 299 knockout win: ‘This is the s*** that makes you a f****** legend

Impressive. Sean O’Malley batters Chito Vera for five rounds to win lopsided decision in UFC 299 main event

Critique. ‘Embarrassing‘: Fighters react to Michael Venom Page’s debut win over Kevin Holland at UFC 299

Farewell. Joanne Wood reflects on MMA career: ‘A Scottish lass who never gave up

Legend. Joanna Jedrzejczyk inducted into UFC Hall of Fame

Flash. Michael ‘Venom’ Page reacts to UFC debut, explains Undertaker entrance

UFC 299 Post-Show.

UFC 299 Post-Fight Presser.

On To the Next One.

Free fights.

Full fights.

O’Malley’s post-fight BTS.

Nickal’s Road to UFC 300.

Doctor explanations.

Jones at Bangtao.

BJJ vs. MMA.



Would have been an actual death.



Not too bad at all.


Maybe the loudest non-KO shot ever?



Brilliance from JDM.





Champ to champ.


There we have it.

Cody Gibson (19-9) vs. Miles Johns (13-2); UFC Vegas 89, March 23

Nate Landwehr (17-5) vs. Jamall Emmers (20-7); UFC Atlantic City, March 30

Jailin Turner (14-7) vs. Renato Moicano (18-5-1); UFC 300, April 13

Rani Yahya (28-11) vs. Victor Henry (23-6); UFC Vegas 91, April 27

Abus Magomedov (25-6-1) vs. Warlley Alves (14-7); UFC Vegas 92, May 18

Tim Elliott (21-13-1) vs. Tatsuro Taira (15-0); UFC Vegas 92, May 18

I wouldn’t say Chito is or was tailor-made for O’Malley simply because of how the first fight went. As a first title defense, yeah, I think that was pretty obvious. It’s Merab or bust next.

Thanks for reading!

Last Week’s Results:

Friday: 70% of 316 total votes answered “Jorge Masvidal” when asked, “Who would win if Chael Sonnen and Jorge Masvidal boxed this year?

Thursday: 34% of 296 total votes were tied answering “Gilbert Burns and Kevin Holland” and “Gilbert Burns and Michael Page” when asked, “Who wins this weekend?Jack Della Maddalena defeated Burns via a third-round TKO (knee and elbows) at 3:43 at UFC 299. Page defeated Holland via a unanimous decision.

Wednesday: 52% of 609 total votes answered “Anthony Joshua” when asked, “Who wins this weekend?” Joshua defeated Francis Ngannou via a second-round knockout (punch) at 2:38.

Tuesday: 66% of 524 total votes answered “No” when asked, “Do you have any interest left in Jake Paul’s boxing career?

Monday: 32% of 329 total votes answered “Sean O’Malley and Dustin Poirier” when asked, “Who wins this weekend?” O’Malley defeated Marlon “Chito” Vera via a unanimous decision in UFC 299’s main event. Poirier defeated Benoit Saint Denis via a second-round knockout (punches) at 2:32 in UFC 299’s co-main event.

Today’s exit poll:


Who should O’Malley fight next?

  • 0%

    Merab Dvalishvili

    (0 votes)

  • 0%

    Umar Nurmagomedov

    (0 votes)

  • 0%

    Other (Comment below)

    (0 votes)

0 votes total

Vote Now

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @DrakeRiggs_ on Twitter and let him know about it. Also, follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.


Source link

You May Also Like