- Sean O’Malley addresses his next move
- “Sugar” is fine with either a title fight or a showdown with Henry Cejudo
Coming off a controversial decision victory over former No. 1 bantamweight contender Petr Yan at UFC 280, Sean O’Malley has got fans waiting for his next move. As expected, “Sugar” is confident that all signs point to a title fight with Aljamain Sterling, but he’s also acknowledging the return of Henry Cejudo.
Either of the two
Speaking to ESPN MMA, O’Malley shared his honest take on the talked-about potential Sterling vs. Cejudo title fight. For “Sugar,” the fight “makes sense” and it’s not a problem if “Triple C” gets the nod first.
“I think Henry vs. Aljo in March makes sense,” O’Malley said. “I’d like to fight the winner of that. It’s hard to say exactly what’s gonna happen next. I’m just kind of waiting to see where that goes…[It’s] fine with me. I’m not too worried about it. I know my next fight is for the title.”
However, O’Malley assured that he’ll be prepared with both Aljo and Cejudo, especially when the fight goes to the ground.
“I don’t mind that. For me, mentally…Right now I started grappling camp,” he continued. “Whether I fight Henry or Aljo, both obviously [are] excellent grapplers, excellent fighters in general.”
While he believes the UFC should consider Sterling vs. Cejudo, O’Malley is holding on to what he was told, and that is his next fight will be for the title. However, he’s also keen on taking on Cejudo first as he feels it’s a bigger fight as far as purse goes.
“I’m the biggest fight, obviously…I mean, [it] doesn’t take a genius to figure that out,” he added. “[But] I feel like me versus Henry is the bigger fight than me versus Aljo, if you’re talking number-wise.”
A target return date
O’Malley took 97 total strikes from Yan in their three-round war and complained about some headache post-fight. His “number one” priority at the moment is his brain health and he wouldn’t want to trim its recovery time as much as possible.
“I don’t know about March,” O’MAlley said of his possible return. “Just because like, Aljo didn’t go through a war [against Dillashaw]…I got cracked, obviously pretty good a couple of times…my number one priority is brain health. Right now, I haven’t had headache. I feel great but to say I’m gonna go sparring next month and get started preparing for March, it wouldn’t put my brain health first. So for me I think July makes the most sense.”
O’Malley has undeniably worked his way up to the No. 1 spot in the rankings. He has gone 4-1 in his last five trips to the octagon and has maintained his stature as one of the biggest names in the promotion. Will he finally fight for the title? Let’s wait and see.