Sean O’Malley Asked The UFC For A Featherweight Fight: ‘I Can Beat A Lot Of Guys At 145’

'Suga' has contemplated moving up a weight class.

Sean O'Malley
Credit Sean O'Malley on Instagram

Sean O’Malley is losing his patience when it comes to Aljamain Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo ever getting booked.

While the bantamweight title fight has been in talks for months, it seems as though it’s taking forever for the champ and the former champ to land on a date to finally clash. The latest update is that Sterling and Cejudo will fight at UFC 288 on May 6th, but there seems to be a hold-up for now.

‘Can I Fight At 145?’

This leaves O’Malley waiting in wings, but he doesn’t want to be on the sidelines anymore— he wants to fight. And no, he’s not interested in being the backup for Sterling vs. Cejudo. Instead of that, ‘Suga’ has asked UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby for a fight at featherweight. 

“It’s not true,” O’Malley said of rumors of him fighting Sterling next instead of Cejudo. “I talked to ‘Suga’ Sean Shelby, he said it’s happening. Henry and Aljo are happening, be ready at 135 just in case.

“I said, ‘Hey, no, I don’t really wanna go through a full camp. Can I fight at 145? I asked him, can I book a fight at 145? It won’t affect my 135 ranking. I believe in my skills. I believe I can beat a lot of guys at 145, can I do that? He said, no, we don’t want you getting injured. I said, ‘have I ever been injured?’ …as I’m injured right now [laughs].”

Why O’Malley Wants To Fights To Featherweight

Wanting to move up to featherweight is a little left field coming from the #1 bantamweight contender. O’Malley would explain just why he wants to jump a weight division in the wake of Sterling vs. Cejudo. 

“I told my people around me like, ‘Hey dude, what do you guys think about this? What if I booked a fight at 145?’ And they’re like, ‘well, why? What’s the point? Do you want money?’ I said, ‘dude, look at me. I don’t need money, I’m f*cking rich.’— No, I didn’t say that.” O’Malley joked. 

“I just wanna perform, dude,” O’Malley continued. “I’m healthy. I’m 28 years old. I’m not gonna get this for a long time. I went through that two year layoff thinking I could never fight again. So now that I’m healthy, I’m 28. I’m ready to go, dude. I don’t wanna sit around and wait.

“My team was down. They’re like, Hey, if you wanna, let’s do it. UFC’s like, let’s wait. You got a title shot, let’s just wait it out.”

‘Waiting it out’ is exactly what O’Malley will be doing. However, O’Malley is still not done entertaining a featherweight move after he receives a long-awaited title shot at bantamweight… especially with the bantamweight division’s version of ‘March Madness’ happening this month with Merab Dvalishvili vs. Petr Yan and Cory Sandhagen vs. Chito Vera. 

“That’s why I wanna fight at 45,” O’Malley said, when asked about other bantamweight fights. “It makes no sense for me to fight at 35, any of those killers. Those are killers, dude. I’m not guaranteed to beat those guys. I won’t get another title shot, so I’m taking my title shot.

“145 wouldn’t affect that but they said no. I was like, damn it, whatever dude. I like that. I always said, ‘let me fight at 145 same day [as Sterling vs. Cejudo] then if something happens, I’m on my way. I’m good. I can make 135 rather than going through this entire fight camp, maybe fighting. I was like, at least gimme a fight.”

Published on March 10, 2023 at 11:49 am
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