Sunday, December 5, 2021

TJ Dillashaw Says O’Malley Has “Too Many Holes” To Become Champion

Former UFC Bantamweight Champion TJ Dillashaw has doubted the title credentials of rising 135-pound star Sean O’Malley.

O’Malley, who is widely regarded as one of the most promising prospects in the promotion, was last in action at UFC 264 in July. After the withdrawal of Louis Smolka, “Sugar” faced debutant Kris Moutinho in the pay-per-view’s main card opener.

Against a gritty and resilient promotional newcomer, O’Malley was forced to wait until the final minute of the fight to find his finish. But while the post-fight focus largely centered around Moutinho’s toughness, and the controversial stoppage, O’Malley put in an unrelenting striking display that saw him break the record for the most significant strikes landed in a UFC bantamweight contest.

Despite recording six wins in his seven UFC appearances to date, not everyone is convinced that O’Malley has what it takes to reach the bantamweight mountaintop, including former champion TJ Dillashaw.

During a recent appearance on Submission Radio, Dillashaw suggested that despite the UFC’s attempts to push him and provide him with the right fights, O’Malley doesn’t have what it takes to have gold wrapped around his waist.

“I don’t think he’ll become champion. He’s got too many holes. And they’re feeding him the right fights. He’s a huge draw. For one, they pumped him up. They put him in the UFC pump-up machine. They can do that to pretty much anyone if you have a little bit of character, if you can talk whatsoever, be a little bit colorful, they’ll pump you up.”

According to Dillashaw, O’Malley’s loss against Marlon “Chito” Vera demonstrated the 26-year-old’s struggle in implementing his game against high-level, ranked opposition.

“…you see what happens as soon as he fought Chito. Chito’s more of a top-ranked fighter, and he got finished in the first round. I mean, I don’t think that he’ll be champion, but he’s a good draw. Hopefully, he can make it far enough to where I can use some of that thunder and get paid off it.”

But Dillashaw did give credit to O’Malley for one element of his game. The 35-year-old praised the way “Sugar” has promoted himself since arriving in the UFC.

“…he’s done a good job promoting himself. He’s done a really good job of that. And it takes work, man. When you see these guys get pumped up, they’re also putting in the hard work, so he does a good job of that.”

After serving a two-year suspensions following a positive EPO test in 2019, Dillashaw returned to action at UFC Vegas 32 last month. In the main event, the former 135-pound king looked close to his best, and grinded out a close decision victory over top contender Cory Sandhagen.

Having leaped to the top of the bantamweight ladder in his first fight back, Dillashaw is looking to challenge for the title early next year against the winner of Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan‘s rematch at UFC 267.

Do you agree with TJ Dillashaw? Or do you think Sean O’Malley has what it takes to reach the top?

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