Aljamain Sterling retained his bantamweight title by turning away former 135-pound titleholder Henry Cejudo in the UFC 288 pay-per-view (PPV) main event last Sat. night (May 6, 2023) at Prudential Center in Newark. After the contest concluded, No. 2-ranked division contender Sean O’Malley stormed the cage to face off with “Funk Master” and set up a potential championship showdown for later this year (possibly September).
As a result, Sterling opened as the odds-on betting favorite, jumping out to -220 (5/11) but then quickly moving to -240 (5/12), according to BetOnline.ag. Consequently, O’Malley opened at +185 (37/20) before slipping to +205 (21/10), which means money is already starting to trickle in for the reigning champ. Don’t be surprised to see that line fluctuate — in both directions — as we get closer to fight night.
Sterling (23-3) has now won nine straight fights, defeating three former champions and a handful of fighters currently ranked in the Top 10. As for O’Malley (16-1, 1 NC), currently sitting at No. 2 in the 135-pound division, he’s captured four of his last five and recently defeated former champion Petr Yan at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi. As expected, “Sugar” is currently working on his grappling to prepare for Sterling.
Hopefully UFC can make this fight official in the coming weeks.
This story originally appeared on MMA Mania