UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling will have a quick turnaround on his hands as he will defend his title against Sean O'Malley in the main event of UFC 292 on Saturday, Aug. 19 in Boston at TD Garden, UFC president Dana White announced on Tuesday. In addition to the bantamweight title headliner, White also announced Zhang Weili will defend her women's strawweight title against Amanda Lemos in the co-main event of the card.
White confirmed Sterling vs. O'Malley during an Instagram Live video on Tuesday following a face-off between the two fighters at the end of UFC 288 on May 6.
Can't get enough boxing and MMA? Get the latest in the world of combat sports from two of the best in the business. Subscribe to Morning Kombat with Luke Thomas and Brian Campbell for the best analysis and in-depth news.
Ray Longo, Sterling's longtime coach, exclusively told CBS Sports that Longo has no knowledge of a confirmed fight between Sterling and O'Malley. If true, it would not be the first time the UFC announced a fight before all parties put pen to paper. The promotion announced a fight between Paulo Costa and Robert Whittaker for UFC 284 earlier this year, but Costa disputed signing a deal and the bout never materialized.
Sterling is coming off a split-decision win over Henry Cejudo, breaking the record for most consecutive UFC bantamweight title defenses with three. He currently rides a nine-fight winning streak. O'Malley earned his title shot off a split decision Fight of the Night against former champion Petr Yan. O'Malley is undefeated in five consecutive fights.
In the co-headliner, Weili will make the first defense of her second stint as champion after beating Carla Esparza to regain the title in November. Lemos punched her ticket to the title thanks to consecutive finishes of Marina Rodriguez and Michelle Waterson.