UFC: Sean O’Malley Plans To Follow In Conor McGregor’s Footsteps
After a two year lay off Sean O’Malley was back in action at UFC 248. And the ‘Sugar’ Show was in full swing. In front of the roaring fans at T-Mobile Arena, the bantamweight prospect finished Jose Quinonez via TKO in the very first round.
With a comeback to remember, a thrilled O’Malley told MMA Fighting that he felt like he had never been away.
“I don’t think I really lost any hype going into that fight. It was exciting. I think people feel that certain way when I fight, and I’m excited to get back in there and make them feel that again. It’s powerful.”
The now 11-0 prospect made his UFC debut back in 2017 with a bang. With a fan favourite fighting style, O’Malley caught the attention of the fans, as well as the promotion, and was on track to becoming a huge star in the UFC. But after two fights the road to the top had to take a pause as ‘Sugar’ Sean was given two suspensions on two separate occasions by the USADA.
Even through a two year lay off however, O’Malley was in the limelight due to his ongoing case and two fights announcements that fell through.
“I think the two fights I was supposed to be in brought that hype back a little bit,” O’Malley explained. “Then it got pulled, then it got built up again, then it got pulled. There was a lot of drama behind it all, so it almost made it more exciting for my return, but yeah, it felt like my debut all over again.
“I enjoy that. It’s cool to be able to get such a big following, so many eyes to watch me fight from being in the UFC. It’s a sweet life.”
And the 25 year old has no intention of slowing down after returning. O’malley expects to fight three to four times this year with a possible return early in the summer.
“I’m healthy – I obviously love to fight,” O’Malley said. “We’re going to go back to the drawing board. I’d like International Fight Week, but it does feel like it would be a little bit too far out. I don’t know if I really want to wait that long. I know there’s a card in San Diego. I think that’s like eight weeks. That could be a potential date.
“As far as right now, I don’t know. We’re going to let it die down for a little bit and then pick back up in a week and figure it out.”
With a young and blooming career, O’Malley believes that he can hang with the best that the division has to offer. But he also believes that there is a lot to learn and improve.
“I’m 25 – I’d like to fight until I’m 35 or 36,” O’Malley explained. “I’m extremely healthy and I could maintain that for that long. Once you start fighting the best guys in the world, you’re going to fight nothing but the best guys in the world. So I’m going to take it fight by fight, take it slow.
“I’m 3-0 in the UFC, and it’s hard to do that when you feel like you could knock out these top dudes in the world. I feel like my skill level’s there, my mindset’s there and everything’s there, but it’s a balance. Trying to make this a smart career.”
O’Malley is looking to build his career the same way the former double champ Conor McGregor did.
“Conor’s career, they did pretty well with as far as building him up. It’s a business. It’s a career. You can only fight for so long. You’ve got to make as much money as you possibly can. So we’re going to look at it like a business and go from there.”
Who would you like to see Sean O’Malley face next?