Surging UFC bantamweight challenger, Sean O’Malley has dismissed talk of a showdown with former division kingpin, Cody Garbrandt next, questioning if the Ohio native could possibly be suffering from CTE (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy) after suffering a slew of knockout losses recently.
O’Malley, who eventually earned the #12 rank at bantamweight back in December, took out Brazilian striker, Raulian Paiva with a one-sided opening round knockout at UFC 269.
Sean O’Malley landed his third consecutive knockout victory with his December win over Raulian Paiva
On the same card, former bantamweight champion, Garbrandt made his flyweight divisional bow against City Kickboxing feature, Kai Kara-France, suffering his second consecutive defeat after succumbing to late first round strikes.
Following the loss, Ohio native Garbrandt claimed that he felt good at flyweight, and mentioned how easy his weight cut to the 125lbs limit was, however, failed to rule out a bantamweight return – explaining how he would like to fight O’Malley next following a press conference war of words between the two.
“There’s a lot of good matchups – Sean O’Malley, I really want to whoop his ass,” Cody Garbrandt said. “That’s a fight that’s looming. Hopefully, that could possibly be my next one. I want that fight so I’d like to stay 1t 35. He might fight me now because I’m not in the rankings at 35 and he’s ranked so that’ll be a good fight. You’ve got to respect his skills, he leveled up a little bit with the Raulian (Paiva) fight, caught him early on, but we know that. The only way he was gonna win was catching him early on and he did that. He did his job, hats off to him. He’s now in the rankings so I have to go back up to 25 and whoop his ass, but we’ll decide, we’ll figure it out.”
Responding to Garbrandt’s call out, O’Malley distanced himself from a fight with the former champion next, at least, as well as questioning if Garbrandt was suffering from the progressive brain condition, CTE – after suffering knockout losses in four of his last five losses.
“Dude, Cody (Garbrandt) wants – he’s not getting that fight (with me),” Sean O’Malley said on his podcast. “When he said it, you could see in his voice (sic), ‘Oh, I want, uh’ – but that fight’s not happening. It doesn’t make sense for him to say that, I wonder if that’s CTE, he’s been knocked out five (four) times in the last two years (five years). That fights not happening, at least, not next. He needs to – it just doesn’t make sense, dude. It just literally doesn’t make sense.”
Before his win over Paiva last month, Montana striker, O’Malley had landed a July knockout win over Kris Moutinho in record-setting fashion – which followed a March stoppage victory over now-promotional alum, Thomas Almeida.