Monday, May 16, 2022

O’Neill On “Bad Guy” Narrative: Lucky For Me, Everybody Hates Eye More

While she’s happy to continue her newly-adopted “bad guy” role moving forward, UFC women’s flyweight Casey O’Neill is expecting to have the lion’s share of support in her next fight.

At February’s UFC 271 pay-per-view, O’Neill extended her perfect professional record to 9-0 and improved her promotional slate to 4-0. She accomplished that by sending veteran Roxanne Modafferi, regarded by some as a pioneer in female MMA, into retirement off a loss.

Given the support behind “The Happy Warrior,” it’s not surprising that O’Neill’s triumph was regarded as a villainous act by the fans in attendance. But the Scottish-Australian’s willingness to embrace it, and to later call out the media and fanbase for ‘disrespecting’ her through a lack of pre-fight attention, cemented her placement as the UFC’s newest “bad guy.”

But according to O’Neill, that narrative might be short-lived.

Having been booked against former title challenger and #12-ranked flyweight Jessica Eye at UFC 276, “King Casey” is predicting a quick wrestling-esque ‘face turn’ ahead of her International Fight Week outing.

O’Neill Expects The Crowd On Her Side Versus Eye

During a recent interview with The Schmo, O’Neill reiterated her acceptance of the “bad guy” character but suggested that role may be filled by Eye when they share the Octagon on July 2.

“I was just being myself. If people like to think that I’m the bad guy, then I guess I’m the bad guy. That’s my personality,” said O’Neill “But lucky for me, I think everybody hates Jessica Eye more than they hate me, so I’ll end up being the good guy in this one.”

For that theory, O’Neill cited three reasons why she believes Eye isn’t widely liked in the MMA community.

“She misses weight, she pulls out of fights, she doesn’t pay people, from what I’ve heard,” said O’Neill. “You know, a lot of conspiracies there. But I’ll leave it at that.”

“Evil” Eye has faltered on the scales in two of her last four outings. She missed weight consecutively ahead of her win against Viviane Araujo and a main event loss to Cynthia Calvillo.

Since 2020, the veteran has also withdrawn from three scheduled fights, including a booked meeting with Manon Fiorot at UFC 272 last month. She pulled out a week before the event citing an eye injury.

Given O’Neill’s theory on Eye’s likability, it stands to reason their matchup may now have some added heat involved in it during fight week and in the cage.

Who will you be rooting for at UFC 276, Casey O’Neill or Jessica Eye?

Related Articles
Related Articles