At UFC 271, O’Neill took another step towards title contention. She did so by sending veteran Roxanne Modafferi into retirement off the back of a loss.
While she failed to maintain her 100% finishing record in the UFC, “King Casey” did extend her perfect professional résumé to 9-0 with victory on the scorecards. In doing so, she moved up three places to #12 on the 125-pound ladder.
She also appeared to establish herself as the promotion’s newest villain with her Octagon interview and post-fight press conference remarks. if she’s believed, we can expect O’Neill to become “the best bad guy” we’ve ever seen in the coming months and years.
O’Neill Vowed To Capture Gold
With another jump closer to dominant flyweight ruler Valentina Shevchenko, O’Neill is beginning to attract attention as a possible title contender. But while she’s targeting a steady rise through every ranked 125lber first, the Scottish-Australian has gold in her sights, something she let Dana White know prior to her win against “The Happy Warrior.”
Discussing O’Neill’s performance during his appearance at the UFC 271 post-fight press conference, White revealed what the 24-year-old told him at the event’s ceremonial weigh-ins. She seemingly took the opportunity to make an ambitious promise to the UFC President.
“The thing about Roxanne is she’s very unassuming. But she’s a very tough, durable, awkward fighter to fight, and Casey beat her tonight,” said White. “She walked up to me on stage during the weigh-ins and said, ‘I’m going to be your next world champion.’ So I like her attitude, I like the way she fights, she’s aggressive, she’s tough, we’ll see what she does.”
O’Neill’s promise is reminiscent of the one given to the UFC President by reigning bantamweight queen Peña. After “The Venezuelan Vixen” upset the odds at UFC 269 by dethroning then-two-division champion Amanda Nunes, White revealed the newly-crowned titleholder had forecasted her own success to him before she’d joined the promotion.
The question is, can O’Neill make good on her promise like Peña did?
Do you think Casey O’Neill can replicate Julianna Peña’s bantamweight success at flyweight?