UFC: Sean O’Malley Believes He’s Close To A Title Shot

The UFC bantamweight title is currently vacant, after the former champion Henry Cejudo, announced his retirement at UFC 249. While the belt is up for grabs, Sean O’Malley believes that he is just a he’s ‘a couple of fights away’ from the title.

Speaking to The Luke Thomas Show (as transcribed by MMA Fighting), O’Malley opened up on the current state of the bantamweight division and his own chances of approaching the title shot.

“There’s four people they talk about for the bantamweight title,” O’Malley said. “No one is really standing out. No one is really like, ‘This is who we want to be our champ.’ I win a couple more fights, I’m that guy. I’m the guy that people are gonna want to see, the bantamweight champ. And I’m gonna go out there and perform like I did last time, against Eddie [Wineland], and whoever I fight next, I’m gonna go out there and do the same thing.

“I’m only a couple fights away from the title, because if you look at the rankings, they don’t really matter. You had Jose Aldo ranked, what, number six in the bantamweight division? He’s never even won. You had Dominick Cruz coming off a loss fight [for the belt]. The rankings don’t matter. I think those top four dudes right now, [Aljamain] Sterling, [Petr)]Yan, Cory [Sandhagen], and . . . Marlon [Moraes], those top four dudes are killers. They’re high-level black belts in MMA. But no one is talking about them. No one is like, ‘That’s the dude.’ No one is that interested. I’m that guy. I’m the guy that’s going to come, knock these dudes out, get my title shot, and I’m gonna be champ. It’s gonna be people want to see me there, and it’s going to be exciting.”

The 25-year-old is currently undefeated, holding a record 11-0. In his last fight, O’Malley defeated Jose Alberto Quinonez via TKO in the very first round at UFC 248. Having lost around two years of his career already because of doping violations, he is now eager to climb up the bantamweight rankings.

O’Malley is now scheduled to face Eddie Wineland at UFC 250 on June 6th. Even though the former WEC bantamweight champion isn’t one of the biggest names in the division, ‘Sugar’ believes that defeating the veteran will certainly help him get closer to the title.

“I think it’s a perfect next step up, next match,” O’Malley said. “Beating him, he’s not one of the top top guys right now but he’s a vet, he’s got a weird style, and I think beating him definitely shows I’m as good as I say I am. But it’s not like I’m beating someone in the topten right now, so I think I go out there, beat him, it shows that the hype is real, but I’ve still got a lot to prove.”

Although O’Malley is confident of entering the title picture as early as next year, he claims he is not in a hurry and would pick a fight depending on the amount the UFC has to offer.

“Yeah, probably [I’ll fight for the belt next year]. I’m honestly not in a hurry,” O’Malley said. “It depends how much the UFC, if they’re gonna pay me what they pay me now I’ll be like, ‘Yeah, I fight other guys.’ If you want to pay me more money to fight better guys, I’ll fight the better guys. But I’m not going to fight the better guys right now with the money you’re paying me right now. It just doesn’t make sense from a business perspective. From a fighter’s mind, I want to obviously fight the best guys in the world. I want to be champ. But in a business mindset, it’s like, ‘Okay, you’re going to pay me this amount, I’m gonna fight someone that’s not the best in the world right now.’ So it totally depends on what the UFC wants to pay.”

Do you think we’ll see Sean O’Malley in the UFC bantamweight title picture by next year?

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