As far as “Suga” Sean O’Malley is concerned, he is your uncrowned UFC bantamweight champion of the world.
If you take a look at the official UFC bantamweight rankings, you’ll see, much to the chagrin of many fans, that Aljamain Sterling is listed as the world champion, not Sean O’Malley. In fact, O’Malley’s name is nowhere to be found in the rankings at all. These minute details notwithstanding, “Suga” Sean says he is already the true champion at 135 and feels it’s only a matter of time before he has the belt to match his shiny confidence.
“In my eyes, I’m the champ,” O’Malley told The Schmo in a recent interview. “That’s just how it is. I think in a lot of people’s eyes, I’m the champ, too,” O’Malley said with a smile.
O’Malley may very well be having fun with the audience, as he has stated in the past that part of the reason he’s claimed to still be undefeated is to do just that. But in his follow-up comments, he sounds like a man who is genuinely speaking from a place of conviction regarding his future place in the bantamweight division.
“Depending on how (Dillashaw vs. Sandhagen) plays out, maybe if there’s a clean knockout, maybe they could (do) Cory or T.J. vs. Rob for an interim belt makes sense maybe, depending on when (Sterling) is ready to go. It doesn’t matter. I’m gonna beat (Louis) Smolka, I’m gonna call out who I call out, I’m gonna beat them, and then I’m gonna be fighting whoever’s the champ at that point. So it really doesn’t matter what happens.
“The division’s just kinda waiting on me to win a couple fights, get the belt, and to be the champ. The people want to see it. So that’s kinda all that really matters right now.”
O’Malley’s fight against Smolka is scheduled to take place at UFC 264, an event of course headlined by Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier’s trilogy fight. O’Malley’s most recent fight was also on a major pay-per-view, knocking out Thomas Almeida at UFC 260: Miocic vs. Ngannou 2. The Suga Show will look to take center stage and steal the PPV from the McGregor/Poirier clash, and its leading star has more than enough confidence to accept this difficult undertaking.