During an appearance on The MMA Hour, O’Malley (16-1, 1 NC) shared his thoughts on a potential second fight with Vera. The two contenders fought at UFC 252, where Vera secured a first-round TKO. It was O’Malley’s first and only loss in his MMA career.
“Me vs Chito is the biggest fight in the division. It’s bigger than me vs Aljo numbers wise, I think. As far as number-wise, if they really wanted to sell it as a PPV… Again though, if we are doing it as a PPV, I wanna get PPV points. So that’s something I’m gonna talk to the UFC about. But yeah, I think that’s a massive fight that’s definitely gonna happen. In 2023-2024, I think.” (H/T MMANews.com)
The 28-year-old has dubbed his 2020 loss to Vera as a “certified fluke” due to injury. The two stars have gone back and forth over the outcome’s legitimacy. Vera has also said O’Malley received a “gift decision” over Yan to earn a title shot.
Marlon Vera Gives Sean O’Malley Credit
Despite their rivalry, Vera (20-7, 1 Draw) has praised O’Malley’s skills and abilities inside the octagon.
“For all the people that say he sucks and he’s just all talk, I never thought that. I always said before [that] the guy can fight, the guy is talented, the guy has tools,” Vera said on The MMA Hour. “I think he’s got power in his hands. I think he’s kind of a snake, but so does the rest of the division, so does the rest top-15. At that level, anybody can hang with anybody.”
O’Malley is currently the #1 ranked bantamweight. He earned the spot after defeating former champion Petr Yan by split decision at UFC 280.
Vera last fought in August, where he beat Dominick Cruz with a head kick knockout. He is on a 4-fight win streak and is #4 in the rankings.