Taking main event honors for the first time in his Octagon tenure back in August, newly minted undisputed bantamweight champion, Sean O’malley has revealed the UFC want him to continue in his recent vein, and headline a pay-per-view event for his first defense as divisional champion.
O’Malley, just the second product of Dana White’s Contender Series to win undisputed gold under the banner of the UFC, did so back in August in Boston, Massachusetts, lodging a stunning second round TKO win over Aljamain Sterling at the TD Garden.
And targeting an immediate return as soon as December at UFC 296, Montana striker, O’Malley saw those plans scuppered immediately after the promotion confirmed a championship doubleheader featuring Leon Edwards and Colby Covington, as well as Alexandre Pantoja, and Brandon Royval.
Sean O’Malley confirms plans for a UFC return in early 2024
Hunting a championship fight rematch with Ecuadorian finisher, Marlon Vera – who is the sole fighter to defeat O’Malley in mixed martial arts, O’Malley has revealed the promotion have sights on him headlining a flagship card early next year.
“I really, really did truly want to fight in December,” Sean O’Malley said during an appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience. “Like when I called out ‘Chito’ (Marlon Vera) in December, but I talked to UFC and they kind of already had [plans]. They were trying to get Colby (Covington) and Leon (Edwards) together.”
“I asked them [the UFC] – they want me to main event my own show, which I think it’s f*cking dope,” Sean O’Malley explained. “I’m down with that. I think UFC 300 is in April. That would be a sweet card to be on, but again, they’re not going [to want me as main event]. I’m going to guess [I’ll fight] before that, before UFC 300.” (H/T MMA Fighting)
While O’Malley has welcomed a title rematch with the aforenoted, Vera, former champion, Sterling called for a championship rematch of his own with the former, calling for a clash after submitting Mike Grundy at a submission grappling event in Wales last night.