Monday, January 24, 2022

Sean O’Malley Claps Back At Critics Of New UFC 264 Opponent

Ahead of his fight with UFC newcomer Kris Moutinho, Sean O’Malley is facing criticism for not facing a ranked opponent on the big pay-per-view show.

On July 10, Sean O’Malley will open up what is likely the hottest card of the year when he takes on Moutinho. Initially slated to fight Louis Smolka, the Hawaiian was forced to pull out of his fight with O’Malley because of a staph infection.

The fight between O’Malley and Moutinho will be the first of a five-fight main card that will end with the epic trilogy bout between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor.

Even though Smolka was also unranked when he was paired with O’Malley, many fans seem to think O’Malley is ready for a step up in competition yet is being protected by the UFC. The flashy striker clapped back at his critics ahead of his big fight on Saturday.

“I’m ready to hear the ‘I’m not fighting a ranked opponent,’” O’Malley said on The Schmozone podcast. “It’s like, okay, they offered me Louis Smolka, he’s not ranked. People were kind of upset with the opponent but they were like, ‘Eh, whatever.’ He pulls out. They say, ‘Oh you didn’t pick a ranked opponent for a replacement.’ I got offered zero, I’ve never been offered a ranked opponent ever. I’ve never fought a ranked opponent – I think (Marlon Vera) Chito when he was 15 or something. Never fought ranked, I’m not ranked. People are mad. I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to tell them.”

While O’Malley admits that Marlon Vera was ranked, he is struggling to come up with answers to his detractors ahead of his UFC 264 bout. The 28-year-old also clarified why a fight with Ricky Simón didn’t materialize, which ultimately came down to Simón not being able to make the bantamweight limit according to O’Malley.

With little desire to take a catchweight fight, O’Malley believes it would simply be bad business to take a fight with Simón outside of his weight class. In an effort to drive his point of view home to viewers, O’Malley compared his situation to an old Chael Sonnen adage.

“What does Chael (Sonnen) say, fight the worst guy on the highest spot on the card. I literally would get paid the same amount if I fight Khabib (Nurmagomedov) Saturday than if I fight Kris. I get paid the same amount. What do I do?…. I’m a business man that’s good at fighting. I make money from fighting.”

On one hand, it’s hard to argue with O’Malley on the business side of things, but certainly, the hardcore fight fans are salivating to see the Contender Series alum take on a ranked UFC fighter ASAP.

What do you make of O’Malley taking a fight with UFC newcomer Kris Moutinho?

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Doug Murray
Doug A Murray is a freelance writer that contributes to a variety of websites. With experience in other sporting fields, his primary focus is on boxing and mixed martial arts.