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For the seventh time overall and first time since October 2019, the UFC is shipping up to Boston, and this time, the organization is bringing a loaded pay-per-view fight card.

Headlined by a pair of intriguing championship matchups and supported by this season’s Ultimate Fighter tournament finals and a number of competitive, important matchups across multiple divisions, UFC 292 ranks up there as one of the best PPV lineups of the year thus far.

The tight 12-fight card should come out of the gates firing on all cylinders and continue running hot right through to the tandem title fights that close out the show.

Just a few months after standing face-to-face in the Octagon setting up this matchup, Aljamain Sterling and Sean O’Malley will battle for the bantamweight title in the UFC 292 main event.

All Sterling has done over the last six years is post nine consecutive triumphs over ranked opponents, including winning and successfully defending the bantamweight title three times. He’s bested three former champions in a row, holds a first-round submission victory over perennial contender Cory Sandhagen, and is 23-3 overall.

The 28-year-old O’Malley has felt destined to fight for championship gold since emerging as the breakout star from the first season of Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS). “Sugar” is coming off a split decision victory over former titleholder Petr Yan at UFC 280 last October, and sports a 16-1 record with one no contest.

This is a classic style clash between the grappler Sterling and the striker O’Malley, while also pitting an under-appreciated champion that has proven himself versus the top competition in the division versus a wildly popular challenger with an impressive highlight reel, but limited experience against the top names in the 135-pound ranks.

Something has got to give on Saturday night, as either Sterling will continue to make his case for being the greatest bantamweight in UFC history or O’Malley will prove what he’s stated all along — that he’s the best fighter in the division.

Steve Carr

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