Sean O’Malley Drops Major Bombshell Ahead of UFC 288: Won’t Serve as Backup Fighter for Sterling vs. Cejudo

UFC fighter Sean O’Malley has announced that he will not serve as the backup fighter for the upcoming bantamweight title bout between Aljamain Sterling and Henry Cejudo at UFC 288. Many believed that O’Malley, who is currently ranked #3 in the UFC bantamweight rankings, would assume the role of backup fighter in case anything happens to either Sterling or Cejudo.

However, O’Malley recently revealed on his TimboSugarShow podcast that he would not be taking on the role of a backup fighter. He explained that planning and training for a fight that he may not even participate in are too difficult and that he would rather wait for a real eight-week training camp where he knows he’s fighting.

“I need a real eight weeks where I know I’m fighting,” O’Malley said. “It’s just too hard to go be that disciplined. You can’t be that disciplined all the time. There’s a certain level of discipline you can be in camp, and that’s why you feel like a f*%*King superhuman when you’re in there, because of the way you’ve lived the last eight weeks.”

Despite not serving as the backup fighter, O’Malley is still considered one of the biggest names in the UFC. In October 2022, he took a split decision over former champion Petr Yan at UFC 280, which placed him at the #1 spot in the UFC bantamweight rankings. While he has since been surpassed by Sterling’s teammate Merab Dvalishvili, O’Malley is still considered a top contender for the bantamweight title.

UFC 288 will take place on May 6 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, and will feature the highly anticipated bantamweight title bout between Sterling and Cejudo. Fans of O’Malley will have to wait a little longer to see him in action, but with his impressive record and fighting skills, it’s clear that he will remain a major player in the UFC for years to come.


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