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Sean O’Malley reveals that he’s doing nothing but grappling in preparation for UFC title shot: “I know I need to improve”

UFC bantamweight contender Sean O’Malley has been hitting the mats lately.

‘Sugar’ is fresh off his outing with Petr Yan at UFC 280 in October. Despite ‘No Mercy’ coming in as a substantial favorite, O’Malley brought the fight to him. The bout was back and forth and saw the former champion lose by a split decision.

It was a result that the Russian disagreed with, with Daniel Cormier later revealing he may attempt to leave the promotion. While it was a tough pill for Yan to swallow, he indeed wouldn’t be fighting for the bantamweight title next. Surprisingly, neither will O’Malley.

Prior to the event, Dana White noted that the winner would receive a title shot. However, following UFC 280, the promoter changed course. In the post-fight press conference, White revealed bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling will instead face Henry Cejudo next.

While that bout doesn’t yet have a date yet, Sean O’Malley is staying active. As the reported next-man-in-line, he’s doing what he can to prepare for ‘Funk Master’ and ‘CCC’. That includes doing nothing but grappling, as O’Malley revealed on the Believe You Me podcast.

Aljamain-Sterling-Henry-Cejudo
PhotoCred: Twitter – @MerabDvalishvili

“I’m just training, I’m getting better,” O’Malley said on Believe You Me. “I know I need to improve in aspects of my grappling whether I fight ‘Aljo’ or Henry. They’re both very heavy grapplers, so I’m fine with sitting out. I’m literally just grappling. That’s all I’m really doing nowadays. I’m fine waiting a couple months, just keep getting better.” (h/t MMAFighting)

“I’m in a tricky position,” O’Malley continued. “I always knew I’d be in this position where you’re at the top of the division. It doesn’t really make sense to fight. I’m guaranteed a title shot. Obviously, ‘Aljo’ and Henry still have to be announced. I’m kind of in that position where do I be smart — like I’ve done my entire career — and just wait for those two dorks to fight or do I risk it and go fight someone else? Which wouldn’t be the intelligent thing to do, but it’s like you only get so many years to fight. I don’t really feel like sitting around too much. I’m leaning towards waiting around for ‘Aljo’ and Henry to fight and just wait for that.”

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