Sean O’Malley strongly feels that beneath all the deprecation by the MMA community over his golden opportunity to fight the No.1-ranked bantamweight in the UFC, there’s a certain sense of yearning for him to win the fight.
The No.12-ranked bantamweight O’Malley will face an uphill task when he squares off against former bantamweight champion Petr Yan at UFC 280. There’s a massive gap between the rankings of the two combatants, which has been the apparent fodder for discussion inside the community.
Sean O’Malley has emerged as a popular figure inside the sport of MMA ever since he graduated from the ranks of Dana White’s Contender Series. Through his viral content ideas that pander to the budding audience and collaborations with the biggest names in the content space, ‘Sugar’ has amassed a loyal fan base.
In O’Malley’s words, he believes that the community has been longing for a Conor McGregor-level superstar even though fans are quick to disparage his quick rise to the top of the food chain.
Speaking with Daniel Cormier and Ryan Clark on DC & RC, O’Malley shed light on the eagerness of combat fans for a superstar to emerge since the UFC doesn’t have one now:
“Usually I’d say that people hope that I don’t win. But to be honest, I believe that the majority of people that think that I won’t win, want me to win. People want a superstar. There’s no one really in the UFC right now that is that Conor level.”
O’Malley added that a victory against Petr Yan should take him one step closer to superstardom:
“I go out there and beat Petr in spectacular fashion, I’m climbing. I’m not going to be there yet, I know that, but I’m climbing to be that guy. I want to be that guy. I want to be the Conor.”
Watch the latest edition of DC & RC below (Sean O’Malley interview – 26:10):
What’s next for Sean O’Malley if he beats Petr Yan at UFC 280?
Sean O’Malley was last seen in the octagon against Pedro Munhoz at UFC 276. The fight was waved off when Munhoz could no longer continue after an accidental eye poke. The fight was subsequently declared a no contest.
Despite an anticlimactic end to the fight, Sean O’Malley could leapfrog the entire division and claim the No.1 spot if he beats Petr Yan at UFC 280. With the bantamweight title set to be contested on the same card between reigning champion Aljamain Sterling and former two-time titleholder T.J. Dillashaw, ‘Sugar’ has his sights set on the victor.
In the same interview, the 27-year-old predicted that his next fight after beating Yan would be for the title:
“I go out there and beat Petr, I get a title shot.”