Aljamain Sterling: If Marlon Vera wants to beat Sean O’Malley at UFC 299, Ngannou-Lewis level of ‘boring’ could work

Aljamain Sterling envisions a potential snoozefest between Sean O'Malley and Marlon Vera at UFC 299.

Bantamweight champion O’Malley (17-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) makes his first title defense in a rematch against Vera (21-8-1 MMA, 15-7 UFC) in Saturday’s headliner (pay-per-view, ESPNews, ESPN+) at Kaseya Center in Miami.

Sterling predicts O’Malley avenges his loss to Vera, but narrowly gets by.

“O’Malley is the more skilled fighter, 100 percent,” Sterling said on his YouTube channel. “But I just think there’s the intangibles, like someone’s durability, their heart and the cardio aspect that people are overlooking. I feel like ‘Chito’ has that.

“The only thing I’m concerned about is that I’m hearing through the grapevines (Vera) didn’t really have a great camp or a lot of guys to train with. I don’t know how true that is. So with that said, I’m leaning toward O’Malley to get it done. I’m going to say, I don’t think he finishes him. By decision? Maybe split decision. I’m saying split decision.”

Sterling (23-4 MMA, 15-4 UFC) lost his bantamweight title to O’Malley this past August at UFC 292 when he was sniped by a perfect counter right hand.

He explains that with O’Malley’s sharp counter striking, it’s in Vera’s best interest to make it a slow fight, hence why he thinks the fight could be boring.

”I’m saying this is Francis Ngannou-Derrick Lewis or Rose Namajunas- Carla Esparza 2,” Sterling said. “I think if you’re ‘Chito,’ you fight this motherf*cker boring, bro. You can’t fight him aggressive and try to be exciting because he’s too good at what he does.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 299.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie