Sterling (22-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) currently is healing from a bicep injury and doesn’t want to risk rushing for his likely title defense against former two-division champ Henry Cejudo. Sterling even recently said on The MMA Hour he wouldn’t be mad if the UFC opted to book Cejudo against O’Malley for an interim belt.
Tired of waiting for the promotion to announce an official date for Sterling vs. Cejudo, O’Malley (16-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) thinks the UFC 285 card could use a boost, and he’s ready to fight Cejudo (16-2 MMA, 10-2 UFC) for the interim title March 4 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“Perfect: Me vs. Henry for the interim belt (at UFC 285),” O’Malley said on his YouTube channel. “Tell me that ain’t fire?”
UFC 285 is headlined by a vacant heavyweight title fight between the returning Jon Jones and Ciryl Gane. But O’Malley says with Jones’ past mishaps, the UFC can’t bank on him to show and need a backup – which he thinks should be him vs. Cejudo.
“I texted (UFC chief business officer) Hunter (Campbell), texted (matchmaker) Sean Shelby,” O’Malley said. “I said, ‘Will you at least give me an idea? Will you at least say yes or no? Is Henry vs. Aljo happening?’ They just don’t know. … They’re kind of just trying to wait to see if (Sterling) can or what. I’m frustrated, but I’m OK because I’m just training.”