Undisputed bantamweight champion, Sean O’Malley will not be getting his desired return atop a UFC 296 card in December against Marlon Vera, and furthermore, if a rematch with the Chone native alludes the newly-crowned champion, he insists he has no problem fighting Georgian grappling ace, Merab Dvalishvili.
O’Malley, the incumbent undisputed bantamweight champion, earned that moniker back in August in the main event of UFC 292, dispatching long-reigning division kingpin, Aljamain Sterling in a second round TKO triumph in his premier championship outing.
And in the time since, Dana White’s Contender Series alum, O’Malley has called for a chance to avenge a 2020 knockout loss to the above-mentioned, Vera – which comes as his sole professional defeat.
Suggesting a showdown for bantamweight spoils at UFC 296 in December, O’Malley’s chances of a year-end return were quashed after the promotion confirmed a welterweight headliner between Leon Edwards and his arch-rival, Colby Covington for the event.
Sean O’Malley has welcomed a future fight with Merab Dvalishvili
Weighing up what is next for him, O’Malley admitted that he would fight anyone the UFC puts in front of him – shooting down a narrative that he is actively avoiding a fight with Tbilisi native, Dvalishvili.
“I remember the first time we fought: ‘Are you gonna get a rematch?’” Sean O’Malley told The Schmo of a fight with Marlon Vera. “It’s supposed to happen, but, we’ll see – I’ll fight whoever they (the UFC) want me to fight. I don’t know everyone thinks I’m scared of Merab (Dvalishvili).”
“I think Aljo (Aljamain Sterling) is better than Merab and I know I’m able to knock out Aljo,” Sean O’Malley continued. “It it who it is. It’s been like that, people act like I call my shots on all my fights, but I’m going to take who they give me.” (Transcribed by MMA News)
Sidelined since March through a hand injury, Dvalishvili most recently turned in a unanimous decision victory shutout over common-foe and former undisputed bantamweight champion, Petr Yan – earning himself the number one contender rank ahead of UFC 292.