Sean O’Malley‘s next fight is official.
The Rematch Is Here
UFC CEO Dana White announced on Monday that the UFC Bantamweight Champion’s first title defense will come against Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera. The title rematch between the rivals will reportedly headline UFC 299 in March, with a location and date yet to be announced.
It Doesn’t Get Much More Exciting Than This
O’Malley first crossed paths with ‘Chito’ at UFC 252, where he was TKO’ed in the first round after suffering a leg injury. Almost four years later, ‘Suga’ looks for some sweet revenge in the first defense of his new title.
“The Chito fight, I’m very excited about,” O’Malley said on The MMA Hour. “I don’t get much more excited about a fight than that. I want that fight. I feel like it was perfect timing. After that first fight, everyone’s like, ‘you gotta get that rematch’. I always said, I’ll get that rematch when I want that. When it’s time for that rematch, I’m gonna call for it and I’ll get it.
“I could have got that rematch whenever I wanted. I was like, it’s not the right time yet. Now is the right time. So, I’m just very excited about that fight… I’d like to get in two [fights] next year, so March will be good.”
Vera Sends A Message To O’Malley
The banter between O’Malley and Vera has been brewing for quite some time now and it doesn’t look like it’s ending anytime soon, especially with Vera allegedly sliding into ‘Suga’s’ DMs.
“[Chito] actually texted me. He said, ‘Hey bro, thanks for choosing me on your next fight. Our last fight. I got so lucky. It’s crazy. You were kicking my ass. LOL,’ and I was just like, oh, that’s pretty cool. He just acknowledged it. DM (direct message) on IG, I didn’t message back.”
Not everybody is a fan of Vera getting a title fight against O’Malley. Vera is coming off just one win over Pedro Munhoz at UFC 292 and there’s a case to be made for Merab Dvalishvili and Cory Sandhagen to get a golden opportunity following their own hot streaks.
However, Vera’s past win over O’Malley was enough for the UFC brass to go with that booking instead. O’Malley reckons Vera wasn’t all that worthy of as title shot.
“No way,” O’Malley said, when asked if Vera would have got a title shot if he weren’t the champion. “That boring ass fight verse Pedro? I didn’t even watch it. And I know it’s boring.”
O’Malley: ‘I’m Gonna Smoke’ Vera
Despite what he thought of Vera’s last fight, ‘Suga’ promises to take care of business in their long-awaited rematch at UFC 299.
“I’m gonna smoke this dude. I don’t feel like it’s personal because I feel like if this fight never happened, it wouldn’t bother me. I’ve never lost sleep over this fight. I truly am undefeated. I mean, it’s not personal. Could get personal. I mean, the buildup, we’ll see what, you see what gets said, what happens. But it’s business, exciting business.”