Sunday, August 7, 2022

O’Malley Reveals His One Regret From Cejudo Backstage Exchange

Having looked back on his backstage interaction with Henry Cejudo at UFC 276, bantamweight contender Sean O’Malley wishes he’d approached things differently.

At the culmination of International Fight Week earlier this month, O’Malley targeted a rise into the 135-pound top 10 with a victory over Pedro Munhoz. Unfortunately, owing to an eye poke, the Brazilian was rendered unable to continue, and the main-card opener ended in an anticlimactic no contest.

As a disappointed and disheartened O’Malley completed his media obligations backstage, the always-talkative Cejudo was there to add insult to injury for the Montana native.

In an exchange that was rightly being widely described as a scene worthy of a place in The Office, Cejudo mocked and challenged “Sugar,” while Deiveson Figueiredo hilariously watched on from the sidelines.

“I’d love a tune up. What do you say precious?” Cejudo said. “I’m good to go. When would you wanna bend the knee, at what time? Because I think you absolutely suck.”

While he mostly dismissed “Triple C,” notably asking the former champ-champ’s weight ahead of his potential return to the bantamweight division, O’Malley does have regrets over how he responded.

O’Malley: I Should’ve Slapped Cejudo

Credit: Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times

During a sit-down interview with BT Sport’s Adam Catterall in London, where O’Malley had traveled to for a UFC 280 Q&A ahead of the UFC’s second UK card of the year, “Sugar” reflected on the bizarre backstage interaction with Cejudo.

After admitting that the moment caught him by surprise, O’Malley, the current #13-ranked bantamweight, suggested that he should’ve “slapped” the former 135 and 125-pound titleholder.

“Looking back on it, I definitely — you know, it caught me off guard, for sure,” O’Malley said. “I was on the verge of — right after that fight, I was just so emotional. I put so much into that fight, and it ended like that. I didn’t wanna do any interviews. I didn’t wanna talk to anybody.

“Then I get this fat little dude just chirping at me. I handled it wrong. I should’ve went up and slapped him, is what I should’ve done. I’m surprised UFC even lets him back there anymore. he hasn’t fought in so long,” O’Malley added. “Once he books a fight, I think people will start taking him serious. Until then, I don’t know. I’m not even sure he’s gonna fight.”

Despite the duo’s back and forth, O’Malley won’t be the one welcoming Cejudo back to the UFC — at least not for a while. “Sugar” has been booked against former champion Petr Yan for the UFC 280 pay-per-view, which is set for Abu Dhabi on October 22.

Cejudo was quick to react to the announcement, and after questioning why he’s not the one set to share the cage with O’Malley, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist sent some advice to “Ronald MethDonald.”

How do you think a fight between Sean O’Malley and Henry Cejudo would play out?

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