Sean O’Malley is a massive star in the UFC and he has also pegged himself as the people’s champ and the unranked champ.
O’Malley has been criticized for not fighting ranked opponents and that will continue at UFC 269 when he battles Raulian Paiva. Although it is considered a hard fight many are disappointed he isn’t facing a ranked opponent. Yet, in the lead-up to this fight, he has made merchandise of the unranked champ.
“The UFC rankings have always been something not super important to me. So, the merchandise says “Unranked Champ 15″ because this is my 15th fight and I’m about to be 15-0. That fight against Vera, I don’t feel like I lost because his skills were better,” O’Malley said to ESPN. “I don’t think he truly, truly thinks he won the fight, either, the way it played out. It was so rare. Look at how many times I’ve been kicked in other fights; you don’t see my whole leg go numb the way it did against him.
“Mentally, I don’t feel that I lost. If Vera goes out in a rematch and beats me in a decision or finishes me fair and square, I’ll have no issue saying I lost. I lose in sparring, I lose in grappling,” O’Malley continued. “I’m not worried about losing. I just don’t feel like I lost that fight, and a lot of people hate that I say that.”
Sean O’Malley takes on Raulian Paiva at UFC 269
Not only does Sean O’Malley view himself as the unranked champion but he also says he’s the people’s champion. He says Petr Yan is the real champ but he has these two titles which no other fighter can have.
“Petr Yan is the champ right now. He’s beaten the people he needs to beat to be the champ in the UFC. But I feel I’m the people’s champ. I have more eyeballs on me than anyone else in the bantamweight division. That’s what I consider “the champ.” I’m the most entertaining. People care about me the most. That’s what “the champ” is to me,” O’Malley continued.
Sean O’Malley enters his UFC 269 fight against Paiva riding a two-fight winning streak.