Critics of Sean O’Malley have been having a field day with the fact that he will be facing promotional newcomer Kris Moutinho at UFC 264. However it is safe to say that Suga’ does not care what you have to say about this opponent.
When Louis Smolka was forced out of his bout with O’Malley, Sean had a litany of opponents call him out to be his replacement. Despite the many appealing matchups that presented themselves, it was announced that he would face 9-4 Moutinho instead.
Speaking in a recent interview, the bantamweight prospect explained that he was never offered one of the ranked opponents that called him out. Therefore he is tired of people complaining about the fact that he has not faced anyone ranked and is still getting so much attention.
“I’m ready to hear the ‘I’m not fighting a ranked opponent. It’s like, okay, they offered me Louis Smolka, he’s not ranked. People were kind of upset with the opponent but they were like, ‘Eh, whatever.’ He pulls out. They say, ‘Oh you didn’t pick a ranked opponent for a replacement.’ I got offered zero, I’ve never been offered a ranked opponent ever,” O’Malley explained. (h/t MMAFighting).
“I’ve never fought a ranked opponent – I think Chito (Marlon Vera) when he was 15 or something. Never fought ranked, I’m not ranked. People are mad. I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what to tell them.”
Why Ricky Simone Didn’t Make Sense For Sean O’Malley
Of the many promising potential opponents that called out Sean O’Malley on social media, Ricky Simon seemed the most likely to get the fight. That was, until he reportedly said that he was unable to make the 135lb limit in time.
Sean explains that he did not feel like it was logical for him to take the fight at featherweight, so he was not interested. Then, after being offered another foe with a worse record than Kris, he accepted the bout with Moutinho.
“I told them I want to stay at ‘35. My weight cut right now, my diet and everything is to go to 135. If we can find someone to go to 135, anyone, I’m going to take it at ‘35. If there’s zero people in the world that can take it at ‘35, I will bump up to 145,” O’Malley said.
“The UFC sent me a list of a couple guys, Simon being one of them, that could make ‘35. I was like f*ck, that’s a pretty tough fight. It was the toughest fight of the ones that they offered me and I said let’s do it. Then his manager called and said he can’t make 135 and I was like, why is he on the list?
“So he was out. One of the guys was Nate (Diaz)’s boy. He was like 6-5 so I definitely couldn’t take that fight. That just looks bad. And then Kris was on there, 9-4, picked him and they gave him a contract,” O’Malley added.
Suga’ Sean goes on to say that he knew Ricky wanted to wrestle him, so it made no sense to take a matchup like that when his opponent likely heavily outweighs him. He then brought up a comparison to a legendary line from Chael Sonnen as justification for making the decision he did.
“(Simon) wants to take me down and lay on me. That is 100 percent his game plan. I was 149 pounds that night. Why would I fight at 145 right now? He’s probably 165. That makes no sense,” O’Malley said.
“What does Chael (Sonnen) say, fight the worst guy on the highest spot on the card. I literally would get paid the same amount if I fight Khabib (Nurmagomedov) Saturday than if I fight Kris. I get paid the same amount. What do I do?…. I’m a business man that’s good at fighting. I make money from fighting.”
Sean O’Malley will be facing off against Kris Moutinho, this weekend, at UFC 264. If he does as expected and wins this fight, it will be interesting to see where he goes next.