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Sean O’Malley’s head coach: Aljamain Sterling ‘most dangerous bantamweight champion there’s ever been’

MMA: MAY 06 UFC 288 Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sean O’Malley’s head coach Tim Welch is heaping high praise upon current bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling ahead of their potential bantamweight title fight this summer.

This past Tuesday, UFC President Dana White announced that the bout will headline UFC 292 in Boston on Aug. 19, although Sterling has said that the fight is not fully done just yet due to lingering injuries following his successful title defense against Henry Cejudo at UFC 288 earlier this month.

Should the fight happen as scheduled, Welch told ESPN in a recent interview that his pupil will be preparing to face the cream of the crop in the history of the UFC’s 135-pound division.

“Stylistically, I think this is the most dangerous bantamweight champion there’s ever been,” Welch said. “I really think that.

“He’s so athletic, long and strong. He’s not just a good wrestler, he’s a good wrestler with good jiu-jitsu, and he’s very funky. He switches stances, throws spazzy things at you, he’s good at chaining his wrestling together. [He’s the] most dangerous bantamweight ever, in my opinion.

“If you make one simple mistake, he’s going to be on your back the whole time. His cardio has gotten better. He’s not only good at grappling, but MMA grappling. The timing is going to be right when he’s ready to start punching you, or advancing to half guard, or mounting and forcing you to give up your back. He’s very good physically and technically.”

Following UFC Vegas 73, White proclaimed that the fight between Sterling and O’Malley is a go for the promotion’s return to the TD Garden in Boston.

Even with a quick turnaround for Sterling, Welch understands why people are picking against O’Malley from a stylistic perspective — but also cautions those who feel like O’Malley won’t be prepared for Sterling’s style of fighting.

“If anybody is going to [take the title from Sterling], it’s ‘Suga,’” Welch said. “[For] his whole career, the game plan against Sean has been to put him on the fence and take him down. His whole career has been that way.”

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