Sean
O’Malley
might not be the next person to fight for the UFC
bantamweight title, but he expects that championship gold will be
on the line when he makes his Octagon return.

“I think in talks, Henry [Cejudo] coming back is what everyone’s
waiting for,” O’Malley recently told ESPN. “If I had
to guess [what’s next], Henry vs. [Aljamain
Sterling
]. If you’re the champ you should be fighting
consistently. You just had a somewhat easy fight against T.J. The
people want to see the champ fight. I think Henry vs. Aljo in March
makes sense if Henry really is serious about coming back, and then
I’d like to fight the winner of that. It’s hard to say exactly
what’s going to happen next, but I’m waiting to see where that
goes.”

O’Malley is coming off the biggest win of his career to date, a
split-decision victory against former bantamweight king Petr Yan at
UFC 280. Shortly after that victory, “Suga” met with UFC president
Dana White and matchmaker Sean Shelby. After those talks, O’Malley
confirmed it’s “accurate” to say that a belt will be on the line in
his next promotional appearance, though it could come after a
proposed Sterling vs. Cejudo clash.

“I know my next fight is for the title,” O’Malley said.

Sterling recently said that O’Malley would be his ideal next
opponent, and the Dana White’s Contender Series alum understands
why the champ would want to go that route.

“I’m the biggest fight — obviously,” O’Malley said. “It doesn’t
take a genius to figure that out; anybody I fight is going to be
the biggest fight in the division. I don’t know what to tell
him.”

O’Malley is confident that the numbers from UFC 280 back up that
claim. In fact, the 28-year-old believes his appeal could rival —
or surpass — anyone in the promotion.

“If you look at the numbers of UFC 280, that was the ‘Suga Show,’”
he said. “Islam [Makhachev] vs. Charles [Oliveira] was massive, but
if you really look at the data, that was my card. I sold that one
more than anyone on that. I believe I’m pretty much the biggest
star in the UFC right now…or have the potential to be and I’m right
there. I could go main event a pay-per-view and do pretty good
right now. It’s been a long time coming but it also happened
somewhat fast.”





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After Meeting with UFC Execs, Sean O’Malley Says Next Fight is for 135-Pound Title

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