Casey O’Neill has an idea of when she’ll be back inside the Octagon, and who’d she’d like as an opponent when the time comes.
O’Neill has been dealing with an ACL injury that forced her to withdraw from a once scheduled bout with Jessica Eye back in April. The undefeated prospect was recently interviewed on “The AllStar” to provide an update to her status.
Casey O’Neill Talks Return Timeline & Desired Opponent
O’Neill explained that she still has several months to go of easing herself back into training. As for full-on fighting inside of the Octagon again, O’Neill doesn’t expect to be ready for that until around December or February. However, even December might be too early.
“If everything goes well, I should be back to striking next month — striking drilling, boxing drilling. And then within two months of that, back to sort of full MMA drilling. Maybe two months after that, it’s wrestling and jiu-jitsu. So, that’s the timeline that they’re giving me.
“I’m on a more aggressive timeline in my own head. I’d say that I’m back fully drilling by September, and then back to live by end of October, start of November, and then fighting in February. I want to get back in the cage as soon as possible. I would love to be in there by December, but that’s pushing it. So, somewhere between December and February.”
As for her desired opponent, O’Neill says she’d like to share the Octagon with Maycee Barber. Barber is a fellow up-and-comer similar to O’Neill who has made quite the name for herself thus far in the UFC. Currently on a three-fight win streak, Barber is the No. 10-ranked flyweight in the division.
“I wanna fight Maycee Barber. I feel like me and her would be a really, really good fight. And obviously, she took this fight (versus Jessica Eye) because I got injured. She’s had an ACL tear before, I’ve had an ACL tear before. We’re two up-and-comers. I feel like it would be a great fight.
“If not her, there are a lot of fights that are happening right now that I’m interested in, to come back to. We’ve just got to see who’s in what position when I come back… I would want to fight somebody just above me or just below me… Maycee Barber would be a fun one, and I keep asking for it, too.”
Barber has already addressed O’Neill’s desire to fight her recently, with the 24-year-old stating she has no desire to fight below herself in the rankings. With Barber currently ranked #10 and O’Neill one spot behind her at #11, Barber has already shut the door on this bout for the time being.
Upon her return, O’Neill brings a ton of momentum into the Octagon. She’s undefeated in mixed martial arts (MMA) competition, finishing all but one of her fights inside the Octagon thus far. She sits right behind Barber in the flyweight rankings at No. 11.
What do you think about a potential matchup between Casey O’Neill and Maycee Barber? Who are you picking in a potential fight? Sound off in the comments!