Sean O’Malley has announced that he will not be the backup fighter for Aljamain Sterling and Henry Cejudo’s match at UFC 288. As the likely next title challenger, O’Malley was expected to assume this role. O’Malley explained that he needs a real eight weeks to prepare for a fight, as he is not able to train at the same level if he is not certain whether he will compete.
O’Malley also said that he does not feel like he is in a position where he must be a backup fighter. In fact, he feels that he would need to be more disciplined than he has been in order to take on this role. O’Malley is satisfied to wait for his opportunity to fight in earnest so that he can adequately prepare. UFC 288 is set to take place on May 6 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.