Sean O’Malley has been criticized for who he has been fighting in his UFC career, yet he has no problem with it.
O’Malley was set to fight Louis Smolka at UFC 264 but ended up facing Kris Moutinho instead on short notice. Many were disappointed he wasn’t fighting a ranked opponent yet for O’Malley he has a good reason as to why he takes unranked opponents.
“Next fight, a lot of people want me to fight someone ranked,” O’Malley said on the No Jumper podcast (transcription via Bloody Elbow). “They wanted me to fight someone ranked last fight. I was supposed to fight Louis Smolka. For me, I have a contract to fight a certain amount of fights and I only get paid a certain amount of money whether I fight Louis Smolka, the dude I was supposed to fight, or I fight Petr Yan, the No. 1 bantamweight in the UFC. I get paid the same. I’m gonna fight [the lower-ranked fighter] and I’m going to fight this dude on a Conor McGregor pay-per-view.”
Although O’Malley says he’s going to fight the lower-ranked fighter, he will likely face a ranked opponent next. He has been linked to a scrap with Frankie Edgar, but for “Suga” he says he has taken notes from what Chael Sonnen said and that’s to fight the worse guy he can on the highest possible place on the biggest card.
“Chael Sonnen always says fight the worst dude on the highest part of the card,” O’Malley said. “A lot of bantamweights, and just people in the UFC, they definitely hate [me for it]. It comes from jealousy. I’m getting way more eyeballs than them … I perform in there. You can go and watch some of these guys perform and you literally pick up your phone, start surfing Instagram, you just don’t give a f*ck what they’re doing.”
Sean O’Malley is currently 14-1 and riding a two-fight winning streak.