Sean O’Malley believes the UFC Apex will hinder Cory Sandhagen against Marlon Vera.
Vera and Sandhagen are set to headline a Fight Night card on February 18 in a very pivotal fight for the bantamweight division. The winner could get the next title shot, but the event will take place at the UFC Apex which O’Malley isn’t a fan of.
Sean O’Malley’s Statement
“The only difference is the cage – the small cage,” O’Malley said on his YouTube channel (via MMAJunkie). “The reason: The Apex doesn’t have a big cage and it makes zero sense. The big cage is – what? – 40 percent bigger than the small cage? Like, quite a bit – significantly bigger. That plays a role. I think it gives ‘Chito’ (Vera) a pretty big advantage. I don’t know if advantage is the right word, but a disadvantage, rather, for Cory.”
Of course, O’Malley fought Vera back at UFC 252 in August with Vera winning by first-round TKO in a fight ‘Suga’ hurt his ankle in. Although O’Malley lost to Vera, he says he is rooting for Vera to beat Sandhagen as he knows a rematch against ‘Chito’ for the belt would be massive.
“I want ‘Chito’ to win, obviously,” O’Malley said. “Because then if that is the case, me vs. ‘Chito’ for the belt is massive. Or I go out there and beat whoever that is, and then first title defense against ‘Chito.’”
Both men have also expressed interest in a rematch, but as O’Malley says, at this point, it should be for the title. If Vera does beat Sandhagen as O’Malley thinks, then they are one step closer to it happening.
Sean O’Malley is coming off a split decision win over Petr Yan at UFC 280 to become the top contender at bantamweight. He’s currently 16-1 and one No Contest and holds notable wins over Raulian Paiva, Thomas Almeida, Eddie Wineland, and Jose Alberto Quinonez among others.
Do you agree with Sean O’Malley?