With such a commanding air of dominance shown in each UFC win, rising star Sean O’Malley opens up on why he prefers slam dunking on unranked opponents.
Highlighted at the UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3 PPV, O’Malley fought a short-notice replacement in Kris Moutinho after Louis Smolka pulled out of their contest due to a staph infection. As many predicted, O’Malley’s striking masterclass against Moutinho showed why so many oddsmakers pegged him as a prohibited favorite entering fight night.
The five-foot-eleven bantamweight is aware of the cauldron of disdain fans have stirred after seeing his tendency to fight unranked fighters. As one of the company’s fastest rising stars, O’Malley welcomes the backlash.
Looking at the fight game like a businessman, O’Malley is of the mindset that he will be paid the same regardless of his opponent’s skillset. And if that is the case, then perhaps O’Malley does have a leg to stand on here.
“Next fight, a lot of people want me to fight someone ranked,” he said. “They wanted me to fight someone ranked last fight. I was supposed to fight Luis Smolka. For me, I have a contract to fight a certain amount of fights and I only get paid a certain amount of money whether I fight Louis Smolka, the dude I was supposed to fight, or I fight Petr Yan, the number one bantamweight in the UFC. I get paid the same. I’m gonna fight [the lower ranked fighter] and I’m going to fight this dude on a Conor McGregor pay-per-view.” Sean O’Malley said on the No Jumper Podcast.
Once hearing of O’Malley’s philosophy, it raises questions as to the structure in which fights are offered. Taking the advice of the charismatic Chael Sonnen, it seems O’Malley is comfortable where is right now.
“Chael Sonnen always says fight the worst dude on the highest part of the card. A lot of bantamweights, and just people in the UFC, they definitely hate [me for it]. It comes from jealousy. I’m getting way more eye-balls than them … I perform in there. You can go and watch some of these guys perform and you literally pick up your phone, start surfing Instagram, you just don’t give a fuck what they’re doing.” O’Malley said.
Either way, to O’Malley it’s just business and if he is getting paid the same, then why take the risk? As “Suga” continues to lay waste to anyone sitting outside of the top-15 at bantamweight, the company seems keen on matching him with a big name. If he walks away after pulling off another three-pointer swish, then the sky is the limit for O’Malley.
Which ranked opponent in the UFC would you like to see Sean O’Malley square off with?