Aljamain Sterling is throwing himself under the bus in an attempt to prove that the new UFC bantamweight champion Sean O'Malley isn't a big pay-per-view draw.
Sterling fought O'Malley in August at UFC 292. It was that fight where Sterling lost the title he'd held since March 2021.
In a video posted to YouTube, Sterling claims the event didn't have great PPV numbers and admits he wished he waited a bit longer before fighting again.
“I was just watching something with my lady and I got the pay-per-view numbers, and me and her were going through it, and I’m just like, ‘These are the numbers that this guy was trying to say he’s this big PPV star? Oh my god,’” Sterling said. “When I saw the numbers I literally sat there — if I had any idea that this is what the numbers would have been, if I could have predicted that this is what it would have been, my ass would have waited and taken my vacation then and geared up to fight now. Because this is ultimately when they said I would be able to fight, January, February, March, because if I didn’t fight in August they wouldn’t have had any other ‘spots.’"
Of course, there are two fighters being billed, and if O'Malley didn't sell PPVs, neither did Sterling. And that's a point Sterling is ok with making.
“It is what it is. I rolled the dice. I trusted that the bag was going to be this, wow, blow me away, bigger than all the other ones. It wasn’t. So with that being said, it is what it is. I’m still happy I made some extra money. I had a really good year. Life’s good.”
Sterling is moving up to 145 pounds for his next fight and will take on Calvin Kattar at UFC 300 in April.