At the moment, Sean O’Malley is one of the fastest-rising stars in the UFC, but once upon a time, he was just a young man trying to get into the UFC. He was offered a fight on Dana White‘s Contender Series and that turned out to be his ticket in. As he prepares for the biggest fight of his career, O’Malley is taking some time out to give advice to the next generation.
Sean O’Malley Praises The Contender Series As A Entrance Into The UFC
Dana White’s Contender Series was first introduced in 2017 as a way to get more up-and-coming fighters a shot at a UFC contract. Before that, the best way to get into the UFC was through The Ultimate Fighter. Dana White brought in these Tuesday night fights, and the talent so far has been amazing. Including O’Malley, there have been many fighters that earned contracts in the Series that are now ranked in their particular divisions.
“I think there’s just so many good fighters out there that are just not signed to the UFC,” he said to Yahoo Sports. “Contender Series, obviously if you’re trying to get into the UFC, that’s where you want to end up, on the Contender Series. Sean Shelby, Hunter (Campbell), Mick (Maynard), Dana are sitting cageside. It’s become a pretty big show. So, it’s just where you want to be if you’re not in the UFC, fighting in front of the bosses. I think there’s just so much good talent out there that the Contender Series highlights it really well.”
O’Malley went from Contender Series hopeful to title contender in just five years. Now he will have the opportunity to test himself against the number-one-ranked fighter in the bantamweight division. He takes on former champion Petr Yan at UFC 280 and, with a win, could be up for a title shot against the winner of the main event of the same card.
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