Sean O’Malley drops Aljamain Sterling early to win UFC bantamweight title


BOSTON — Sean O’Malley won the UFC bantamweight title on Saturday night, stopping Aljamain Sterling in the second round in the main event at UFC 292 at the TD Garden.

O’Malley (17-1), of Phoenix, dropped Sterling with an overhand right early in the second. With Sterling on the mat, O’Malley hammered the defending champion with left hands to the head until referee Marc Goddard stopped the fight 51 seconds into the round.

The 28-year-old O’Malley was fighting in a five-round bout for the first time. The 34-year-old Sterling dropped to 23-4. He entered the fight with 10 straight wins.

The first round was fairly uneventful. Sterling attempted a takedown with 30 seconds left, pinning O’Malley against the fence before the round ended.

Sterling, of Uniondale, New York, was making the fourth defence of his bantamweight title.

In the co-main event, Zhang Weili of China retained her strawweight title with a five-round unanimous decision against Amanda Lemos of Brazil. The scores were 50-43, 50-44, and 49-45.

Zhang (24-3) kept Lemos (13-3-1) on the mat for most of the fight.

In the fourth, Lemos had a little success while they were on their feet, landing a right hand that briefly put Zhang on the mat, but Zhang got up and brought Lemos to the mat with a takedown and landed several knees to the head.

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