Sean O’Malley explains why he has opted against fighting ranked competition in the UFC

Sean O'Malley, Ben Askren
Image Credit: Sean O'Malley's Instagram (photographer not listed)

Sean O’Malley has gone 5-1 thus far in his budding UFC career but has yet to compete against any ranked fighters in the stacked bantamweight division.

O’Malley (14-1 MMA) most recently competed at last months UFC 264 event, where he scored a third-round TKO victory over promotional newcomer Kris Moutinho.

‘Suga’ recently revealed that he was offered the chance to compete at UFC 268 by matchmaker Sean Shelby, but he ultimately turned down the offer for the following reasons.

“I don’t even know if I’m supposed to say this… Sean Shelby was mad at me.” Sean O’Malley shared on The BrO’Malley Show on YouTube (via Sports Keeda). “Dude, I don’t wanna fight in New York. It’s far, the taxes are ridiculous, and Tim (Welch) has no-Gi or no, ADCC trials that weekend.”

According to MMA journalist Ariel Helwani, Shelby had offered O’Malley a fight with former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar at UFC 268.

Sean O'Malley, Eddie Wineland
Image via @ufc on Instagram/Getty images (photographer not listed)

The proposed contest would make Sean O’Malley’s biggest challenge to date, but ‘Suga’ recently explained that a big name does not result in a big cheque.

“Next fight, a lot of people want me to fight someone ranked,” O’Malley said on the “No Jumper” podcast (h/t MMAJunkie). “They wanted me to fight someone ranked last fight. I was supposed to fight Louis Smolka (at UFC 264). For me, I have a contract to fight a certain amount of fights, and I’m gonna 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 this dude (who is lower). And I’m going to fight this dude on a Conor McGregor pay-per-view.”

Sean O’Malley continued:

“Chael Sonnen always says fight the worst dude on the highest part of the card. A lot of bantamweights, and just people in the UFC, they definitely hate, and it comes from jealousy. I’m getting way more eye balls 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.”

What do you think of Sean O’Malley’s reasoning for avoiding ranked competition at this stage of his UFC career? Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!

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