Sean O’Malley has respect for the biggest stars in the UFC right now, but he knows he is next up.

There is no denying that O’Malley has become one of the biggest up and coming stars that the UFC has to offer at this point. Not only does he have a fan-friendly fight style, but he has shown great skill with self-promotion, building his brand outside of the Octagon just as much as he has built it in the UFC.

As a rising star himself, it makes sense that Sean O’Malley would have his finger on the pulse of the sport, and have a good understanding of where things are in terms of popularity. In fact, this was something he was asked about in a recent interview.

Speaking with The Schmo, O’Malley was asked to pick out the current biggest draws in the UFC. While his answer was fairly straightforward, he also made it clear that he knows that the next wave of big stars is here, with the likes of himself, Paddy Pimblett, and Khamzat Chimaev.

“Current? mean is Conor current?I don’t know, but Conor’s always gotta be up there. Nate, is Nate even in the UFC anymore? I don’t know. Conor, Nate, Jorge (Masvidal), Jon Jones, the big names. But I do think me, Paddy, Khamzat, we’re the next wave of big names,” O’Malley said.

Nate Diaz is the only fighter who is no longer contracted by the promotion. Diaz has taken part in some of the biggest pay-per-views of all time, including his fights with Conor McGregor and the BMF title fight with Jorge Masvidal at UFC 244.

Masvidal also made O’Malley’s list. In addition to the aforementioned UFC 244 event with Diaz, Masvidal also helped bring in 1.3 million buys for his first title shot at Kamaru Usman at UFC 251.

Jon Jones has been a major draw in the UFC for well over a decade, with multiple pay-per-views selling over half a million buys. Jones also has maintained one of the largest social media followings in the UFC over the years.

Conor McGregor

And last but not least, Conor McGregor remains the most recognized name in the UFC and also the wealthiest. McGregor is the only MMA star to ever reach #1 on the Forbes Highest-Paid Athletes list. And now, the Notorious one is even set to take on Hollywood with an upcoming role in Road House. O’Malley has publicly acknowledged on multiple occasions that McGregor has always been a major influence for his MMA career.

O’Malley is also confident about the “next wave” of superstars that he insists will include himself. This is a bold assertion from Sean O’Malley, but there is a lot of truth to what he is saying as himself, Pimblett, and Chimaev are each growing in popularity with every fight they have in the UFC. There is something special about those three men that fans are gravitating to, whether they love or hate the fighters themselves.

Who else is going to be a future UFC superstar?