UFC women’s flyweight contender Casey O’Neill has spoken about the possibility of a drop to strawweight down the line.
In just four appearances inside the Octagon, O’Neill has certainly made an impact. In three 2021 outings, which came after a victory under the UAE Warriors banner secured her path to MMA’s biggest stage, the Scottish-born Australian recorded TKO wins over Shana Dobson and Antonina Shevchenko, and a submission triumph against Lara Procópio,
Those results earned her a place on the UFC 271 card earlier this year, where she collided with now-retired veteran Roxanne Modafferi. As well as outpointing “The Happy Warrior” to extend her perfect professional record, “King Casey” made some notable remarks on the mic as she embraced the “bad guy” tag that the Houston crowd attached to her.
Following her latest success in the cage, O’Neill finds herself ranked #10 at 125 pounds and perhaps only a few strong victories away from a shot at Valentina Shevchenko’s flyweight gold.
But despite her success in the weight class, O’Neill does have one eye elsewhere…
O’Neill: ‘I Wanna Fight The Best & That’s At 115’
During an interview with The AllStar’s John Hyon Ko, O’Neill was asked what it would take for her to commit to a strawweight venture.
“King Casey” noted that she’s been pondering a drop to 115 pounds for quite some time having acknowledged the pool of talent in the promotion’s lightest weight class. Unlike many, O’Neill also doesn’t cut significant weight to make her current divisional limit, meaning a drop to strawweight wouldn’t represent anything extreme.
“I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately,” O’Neill said. “I wanna fight the best in the world, and I think that the best in the world is at 115 right now. So, it’s been a big thought for me. But (making) 125 is easy. I cut zero weight. I literally cut three pounds to make 125. So, fighting at 125, they call me with a name, I just say, ‘Yep, sure, no worries.’
“But I think that in the long term, Maybe wanna look at going down to 115 and fighting the best girls there. But we’ll see what my body does. I’m still growing, I’m 24 years old. So, we’ll see,” O’Neill added.
Prior to her UFC signing, O’Neill actually held the strawweght belt under the Eternal MMA banner in Australia. After missing weight by 0.4 pounds in her third professional bout, the Scottish-born Aussie was stripped and moved to flyweight for her following appearance.
For now, though, it appears that O’Neill has her sights set on further success at 125 pounds. And as she continues to recover from ACL surgery, she’ll look to pick up where she left off from in February when she returns to action next year.
Would you like to see Casey O’Neill test the strawweight waters down the line?