UFC bantamweight contender Sean O’Malley misses fighting in arenas full of fans, and has an interesting request for his supporters as his UFC 252 fight with Marlon “Chito” Vera draws closer.
O’Malley pined for the good old days, when he could hear the reactions of fans during his fights, during an interview with ESPN.
He explained how the experience of knocking out Jose Quinones in front of a full crowd differed from the experience of knocking out Eddie Wineland in an empty venue.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) August 10, 2020
“I was watching my Jose Quinones fight, and I watched it from a fan’s perspective up in the stands,” O’Malley said. “Just seeing the fans erupt when I dropped Jose… I dropped Eddie in a way more vicious, gnarly, more exciting, explosive way. I feel like rewatching that fight isn’t the same. It would be way more enjoyable to rewatch it and watch the crowd go wild.
“Then I watched that Michael Jordan documentary, The Last Dance,” O’Malley added. “Seeing how excited those fans get when someone makes a game-winning shot… I picture myself in those situations, dropping someone, and it sucks that I feel like I’m getting robbed of that moment, in a way. But also I know a million people or whatever are watching at home.”
While O’Malley is unlikely to be fighting in front of a live crowd again anytime soon, he does have a request of the legions of fight fans watching his next Octagon appearance at home.
“I told everyone: record your reaction,” he said. “I want to watch it. I’ve watched every single one I could find of peoples reactions when I knocked out Eddie, and it kind of it makes it feel like they’re there with us. I definitely miss it.”