Number-one ranked UFC bantamweight contender, Sean O’Malley has claimed he has been “guaranteed” a shot at undisputed gold in his next Octagon walk, off the back of a close, split decision win over former titleholder, Petr Yan at UFC 280 back in October.

O’Malley, undefeated in his last five consecutive Octagon outings, featured on the main card of UFC 280 back in October of this year, defeating Dudinka striker and former undisputed champion, Yan in a close, split judging victory in Abu Dhabi, UAE. 

Off the back of the victory, O’Malley, who earned the #1 rank in the official bantamweight rankings with his judging win against Yan, was immediately linked with a title fight against undisputed titleholder, Aljamain Sterling next.

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However, in the time since, Sterling has welcomed a potential title fight with former undisputed bantamweight and flyweight champion, Henry Cejudo – with the Olympic gold medalist linked with a March return against the Uniondale native. 

Sean O’Malley insists he’s been guaranteed a UFC title shot next

Despite the fact O’Malley may miss out on the next bantamweight title fight, the Dana White’s Contender Series alum has claimed, however, that he’s been “guaranteed” a title shot next.

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“I’m just training, I’m getting better,” Sean O’Malley said during an appearance on Believe You Me. “I know I need to improve in aspects of my grappling whether I fight ‘Aljo’ or Henry. They’re both very heavy grapplers, so I’m fine with sitting out. I’m literally just grappling. That’s all I’m really doing nowadays. I’m fine waiting a couple months, just keep getting better.”

“I’m in a tricky position,” Sean O’Malley explained. “I always knew I’d be in this position where you’re at the top of the division. It doesn’t really make sense to fight. I’m guaranteed a title shot. Obviously, ‘Aljo’ and Henry still have to be announced. I’m kind of in that position where do I be smart – like I’ve done my entire career – and just wait for those two dorks to fight or do I risk it and go fight someone else? Which wouldn’t be the intelligent thing to do, but it’s like you only get so many years to fight. I don’t really feel like sitting around too much. I’m leaning towards waiting around for ‘Aljo’ and Henry to fight and just wait for that.” (Transcribed by Bloody Elbow)

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Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.