Sean O’Malley Explains Disinterest In Five-Round Fights

Sean O'Malley
© Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

UFC bantamweight contender Sean O’Malley isn’t ready for five-round fights at his current pay rate but may open up to it with a raise.

O’Malley had an electric 2021, earning three-straight wins over the likes of Thomas Almeida, Kris Moutinho, and Raulian Paiva. His current winning streak catapulted him into the UFC bantamweight rankings to wrap up the year.

With O’Malley now in the rankings, some have clamored for him to start facing tougher challenges, including longer fights. Some have requested that he compete in a five-round main event on a UFC Fight Night card for his next octagon appearance.

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During a recent appearance on the Full Send podcast, O’Malley explained his reluctance to take five-round fights at this stage in his young career.

Sean O’Malley Has Been Criticized By Some For Facing Lower Level competition

“I don’t want a f***ing five-round fight,” O’Malley said. “They’re gonna give me like $20,000 extra to go fight, basically another fight, 10 minutes. I’m like, ‘I’m not gonna fucking do that.’ When I’m the champ, yeah. There comes a point, you can’t say no to the UFC, you know what I mean? I’d rather not fight five rounds unless you wanna pay me a fucking lot more money. You know how much more training goes (into it). That was like a 10-week camp (ahead of UFC 269) for 15 minutes. That’s a hard camp.” 

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“But five rounds, that’s a lot. That’s 25 minutes of fist-fighting. I’d like to be paid, if I’m gonna do that, paid equally. That’s a long time to fight.” (h/t MMA News)

UFC president Dana White seems keen on giving O’Malley more money, as he alluded to in his UFC 269 post-fight press conference. O’Malley has also asked for stiffer competition in the new year.

It’s unclear what’s next for O’Malley’s UFC career, but he’s certainly a star in the making at 135 pounds.

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Who do you think Sean O’Malley should fight next?

Curtis Calhoun is a Combat Sports Contributor based in Seattle, Washington. After a longtime dream of becoming a sports journalist, he was able to accomplish his goals upon graduating from Washington State University in 2016.