UFC bantamweight Brian Kelleher wants Sean O’Malley next, saying “he says he doesn’t want to fight ranked guys. I’m not ranked right now.”
Kelleher defeated Domingo Pilarte via dominant unanimous decision at UFC Vegas 34 this past weekend. Since joining the UFC back in 2017, Kelleher is 7-5 overall in the Octagon. While he has yet to break through and become a top-15 ranked fighter, he has proven himself to be quite the gatekeeper into the rankings, and with O’Malley recently suggesting he has no interest in fighting ranked opponents for the same pay, Kelleher called him out.
Speaking to the media following his dominant win over Pilarte, Kelleher once again called out O’Malley and explained why he believes he has a legitimate shot of getting the fight.
“I cut the promo in (the cage): (Sean) O’Malley’s the guy. He says he doesn’t want to fight ranked guys. I’m not ranked right now, so I think that’s fitting. But I do think they’ll give him a bunch of options and he’ll pick the easiest one. And hopefully I’m the easiest one in his eyes,” Kelleher said (via MMAjunkie.com).
Speaking to BJPenn.com’s Cole Shelton prior to the fight against Pilarte, Kelleher admitted that his plan was to finish Pilarte and then call out O’Malley for a future fight. He lived up to at least half of that plan, as while he couldn’t get the finish over Pilarte, he still got the win and then called out O’Malley. It will be interesting to see if O’Malley will accept this fight if it is presented to him. While Kelleher is not a ranked opponent, he is still a very dangerous fighter, and he also has the wrestling skills that could potentially nullify O’Malley’s standup.
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