Both Sterling and Cejudo have acknowledged that they are expected to clash in early 2023 with O’Malley likely getting the winner after he earned a hard-fought split decision over ex-champion Petr Yan.
Unfortunately, the UFC still hasn’t announced that Sterling vs. Cejudo is official and O’Malley can’t help but question why.
“It drives me crazy,” O’Malley said on his TimboSugarShow podcast. “Why is this not happening? I don’t think it’s a money thing. I don’t. The UFC would say ‘all right, next guy.’
“It’s not a money thing, in my opinion. UFC said here’s what you’re going to make. Henry literally retired because he wasn’t getting paid enough and now he’s broke and wants to come back. He’s coming back to make the same amount. Aljo’s not going to get paid more. He’s not a draw. That’s just facts. That’s not me throwing shots. Aljo would say the same thing. He’s like ‘yeah, I’m not a draw, I don’t have fans.’ He knows. Everyone knows.”
Despite his concerns, there have been no indicators that the UFC has run into a roadblock trying to book Sterling vs. Cejudo for the first quarter of 2023.
Based on his social media accounts, Sterling is currently on vacation in Jamaica for the holidays but he’s previously stated that he expected to face Cejudo in March.
Still, O’Malley is getting frustrated as he awaits words on the fight being made official because he expects to face the winner when he returns to action next year.
“Is it a weight thing?” O’Malley said. “Is it an injury lingering? What is it? I’ve got to get to the bottom of this. I’m hiring a private investigator to follow them both around.”