Sean O’Malley believes he is closing in on a bantamweight title shot.

‘Suga’ is one of the most charismatic stars in MMA but is yet to pick up a win over a ranked opponent during his 15-fight professional career.

The one and only time O’Malley stepped up his level opposition, he was beaten inside one round by Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera at UFC 252 back in August 2020.

Since then, he has put back-to-back wins together of low-level opposition.

The 26-year-old now seems primed for a run at the 135lbs rankings but an apparent financial issue with the UFC is stopping him from stepping up his level of opposition.

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During a recent appearance on The MMA Hour, O’Malley explained that he is closing in a bantamweight title shot but is unwilling to main event or feature at the top of pay-per-view events until his financial situation with the UFC is sorted.

“I feel like I’m the main draw at 135, I’m the biggest name at 135,” Sean O’Malley said. “So there’s a lot of sweet, sweet, interesting fights at 135 that I would love to be a part of. Obviously I want to get paid fairly, but yeah, I think I’m not too far off from fighting for the title, main-eventing pay-per-views. … It depends. I really want to fight these three fights out and then start talking big names. I don’t think I should be main eventing for the money I’m making right now. I think I should be getting paid more, so we’ll see.”

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O’Malley recently turned down the chance to fight the former lightweight champion, Frankie Edgar, due to the fact the bout was set to take place in New York on a date his coach is due to compete in a tournament.

‘Suga’ now has sights set on a December 11 matchup with Dominick Cruz.

“At the end of the day, the UFC picks. If they offer me Frankie, like I said, I would love to fight Frankie. Frankie is a top-10 guy I think and he’s a big-name guy,” O’Malley said. “I wouldn’t have said no, ‘No, I don’t want to fight him because I want to get paid more to fight him.’ I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll fight Frankie on Dec. 11th in Vegas.’ I would’ve loved for that fight. That’s the fight I was hoping for and that’s the matchup I wanted. I’ll also fight Dominick Cruz on Dec. 11th.”

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Do you think Sean O’Malley is closing in a bantamweight title shot?