Bantamweight champion Algermain Sterling won his third defense, defeating former two-division champion Henry Cejudo by decision, and somewhat cleansed his name of the “accidental champion.
However, he still hasn’t shaken off the “champion by accident” label, as he continues to make excuses for his fourth defense against Sean O’Malley.
The UFC has asked Sterling to make his fourth defense against No. 2 ranked Sean O’Malley at UFC292 on Aug. 20.
O’Malley is the kingpin of the bantamweight division, but he’s coming off a 2-1 decision win over Petr Jan in which he nearly lost.
Sterling is expected to put up a tough defensive fight, but Sterling is avoiding O’Malley, saying he was injured in the Sejudo fight and needs to get an MRI on his arm.
Sterling’s image has changed a lot since he was losing and won on a foul by Petr, then beat Casey, Petr, and Sejudo to become champion.
Still, as he continued to make excuses, Sejudo “offered to be his backup” and said he wanted an interim title shot against O’Malley if Sterling was too sick to fight.
“If Aljo isn’t ready, O’Malley and I will have an interim title fight,” Sejudo said on his YouTube channel.스포츠토토
Sejudo, a former flyweight and bantamweight champion who returned to action after a three-year absence, was ranked No. 3 in the bantamweight division after losing a 1-2 decision to Sterling.
Refusing to give up on his dream of returning to the championship, Cejudo will next fight No. 1 ranked Merab Dvalishvili, with a win earning him another title shot.
Meanwhile, UFC President Dana White is pushing ahead with UFC 292, using Sterling’s “illness” as an excuse.