Matt Brown picks Henry Cejudo to beat Aljamain Sterling ‘relatively easily’ and destroy Sean O’Malley


Henry Cejudo still hasn’t officially been booked for his next fight, but all signs are pointing toward him facing UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling in his return to action from retirement.

Since the day he announced his retirement in 2020, it seemed that the former two-division UFC champion was teasing a comeback, which is one reason why UFC veteran Matt Brown isn’t quite ready to commit to Cejudo as his pick to reclaim the title in 2023. That said, Brown believes that if Cejudo is actually planning to fight again, and he’s the next opponent for Sterling, then a new champion could be crowned at 135 pounds sooner rather than later.

“I wasn’t sure that fight was going to happen,” Brown said on The Fighter vs. The writer . “You hear Cejudo talking all the time. Cejudo is always talking about fighting or coming back. He likes to talk. So I didn’t think that fight was going to happen, so I would certainly put him down as the biggest threat [at bantamweight]”

Assuming Cejudo gets booked against Sterling in the early part of the year, Brown believes the one-time Olympic gold medalist will prove once again that he’s the best fighter in the world at 135 pounds.

While Brown doesn’t dismiss Sterling’s skills, he expects Cejudo to use his world-class grappling against the UFC champ when it comes down to getting the fight to the ground and working for submissions.

” I think Cejudo defeats Aljamain quite soundly,” Brown said. I think [Cejudo’s] has incredible boxing and amazing wrestling. Aljamain is not going to let him down, I think. I think he’s just got better boxing, better standup. His standup is very well-organized. He is strong and keeps his distance.

“I’m going to go with Cejudo on that. He will beat him fairly easily, I believe. Cejudo, I’m picking very soundly to win that fight [against Sterling].”

If Cejudo does manage to get past Sterling, then his attention will likely turn toward Sean O’Malley, who has already been declared a top contender in the division after his win over ex-champion Petr Yan this past October.

O’Malley stated that he will be sitting down and waiting for the winner of Sterling against Cejudo. He hopes to get UFC gold in the next summer.

For his part, Brown actually feels as if Sterling is probably still a tougher matchup for Cejudo, but if the always outspoken and self-appointed “King of Cringe” gets that victory, then Brown doesn’t see nearly as much difficulty in Cejudo dispatching O’Malley.

“If we’re talking about champion at the end of the year, I’m going to go with Cejudo,” Brown said. “He beats Aljamain and he destroys Sean O’Malley.”

While it’s an impressive statement, Brown still has faith in Cejudo and wants to show the world that he is one of very few fighters who can hold both flyweight and bantamweight titles at the UFC.

Brown sees veterans Ricky Simon, top prospects like Umar Nurmagomedov and other bantamweights as potential contenders. Brown also singled out Adrian Yanez as another potential threat at bantamweight ahead of his biggest fight to date, when he clashes with Rob Font in April.

“I’m a huge Adrian Yanez fan,” Brown said. “This guy has looked absolutely amazing. He’s capable of dealing with wrestlers such as Ricky [Simon],, Aljamain, or Merab [Dvalishvili].”


While lightweight is often praised for being the most difficult and deepest of all mixed martial art divisions, Brown sees bantamweight as being equal to that, particularly when you look at the UFC roster from the top.

“There’s so much talent in this division,” Brown said. “You could look at the top 25 guys and there’s guys that could come up and make a splash. It’s a wonderful division