UFC bantamweight star Sean O’Malley would like a title shot, but not before Jose Aldo gets one.
‘Sugar’ is set to face Petr Yan at UFC 280 in October. It is the biggest step up in the 27-year-old’s career to date, and it’s not even close. ‘No Mercy’ is a former bantamweight champion and was one scorecard away from holding the title in his last bout.
The expectation is that the winner of the bantamweight showdown in October would receive a title shot. At the UFC 280 press conference earlier today, O’Malley confirmed that he would indeed expect a title shot if he wins.
However, Sean O’Malley also stated that he would allow Jose Aldo to receive a title shot first. The Brazilian is set to face Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 278 next month. If Aldo is victorious that night, he hopes to get a title shot himself.
In a surprising move, the 27-year-old is willing to let that happen. Recently, Aldo stated that his goal is to win his next bout, win the bantamweight title, and then retire later this year.
“Obviously, I haven’t gotten to prove [I belong at the top]. That Pedro [Munhoz] fight didn’t really end the way I wanted it to. But I think I proved I can hang with the top-10 guys. Jumping up to the No. 1 guy, this is a huge test and I believe I will rise to the occasion… One hundred percent [I’ll deserve the title shot].” (h/t MMAFighting)
Sean O’Malley continued, “I think he said he wants to beat Merab and then fight for the title. I wouldn’t mind beating up Petr and then letting Jose fight for the title and then fighting the winner of those two. Jose’s a legend and he deserves to fight for that belt.”