Sean O’Malley says he understands why Cody Garbrandt doesn’t want to fight him

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

UFC bantamweight star Sean O’Malley believes that divisional rival Cody Garbrandt doesn’t really want to fight him in the wake of their recent back and forth on social media.

While “Suga” may have his hands full at UFC 252 this weekend when he goes head to head with Marlon Vera, many fans and pundits are finding it hard to avoid looking to the future given how exciting he is whenever he competes in the Octagon.

During a recent interview with MMA Fighting, O’Malley made it crystal clear that he believes Garbrandt does not actually want to fight him.

“I don’t think he wants to fight me,” O’Malley said. “I might be a little biased … I don’t think Cody wants to fight me.

“I think he sees that fight, I’m long, I’m tall, I’m accurate, I throw straight punches, he throws hooks. He’s 5’3.” I’m 6’4.” He don’t want that fight.”

Quotes courtesy of MMA Fighting

While O’Malley is clearly enjoying his rise to prominence, he’s also admitted that he’s missing the energy that fans bring to the occasion – and he wants them to help him feel it once again.

“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.”

“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.”

While it may be a tough ask, you can bet his goal is to secure another highlight-reel knockout when he faces “Chito” on Saturday night.