This weekend’s UFC 222 PPV features some familiar veteran talent, with longtime UFC fighters like Frankie Edgar, Stefan Struve, Andrei Arlovski, and Cat Zingano dotting the card. But, its also set up to be a showcase for several fighters the UFC is hoping to turn into a new wave of stars.
Mackenzie Dern makes her debut with the ‘featured prelim’ slot, and Brian Ortega will look to make his claim for the next 145 lb. title shot in the co-main event. However, the fighter getting the biggest push compared to his relative inexperience is Sean O’Malley. O’Malley was featured on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series back in July of last year. He debuted in the Octagon against Terrion Ware in December. Now, just three months later, he’s facing off against Andre Soukhamthath as the third bout of the pay-per-view main card.
“I’m feeling the love from the UFC,” O’Malley told Ariel Helwani during a media day interview. “I’m definitely feeling the hate from the fans. They don’t like the push I’m getting, but...”
“I seen a couple guys saying, ‘Why they pushing this kid?’” O’Malley explained. “I’m 9-0, seven finishes. I do stuff other people don’t do. I look a certain way. People are attracted to me. They want to see me fight. I give them good contact to push. So, they’re pushing me, and it’s gonna pay off.”
And because of that push, O’Malley feels that his opponent should be giving him some love. Because without O’Malley, he likely wouldn’t be on the main card.
“If he’s enjoying all this,” O’Malley said of the fight week atmosphere, “then maybe, yeah. A thank you would be nice.”
O’Malley also talked about his disco-themed outfit, telling Helwani that he “went to Nordstrom Rack and it just worked out perfect.” He also teased his upcoming “Sugar Show OG” pot blend, which will be released during his after party following his fight with Soukhamthath.
Check the whole thing out, to hear O’Malley’s thoughts on Soukhamthath’s style, his feelings about his Octagon debut, plus his love of hummus, and new face tattoo.
UFC 222 takes place this Saturday, March 3rd, in Las Vegas, NV. The card is expected to be headlined by a featherweight title fight between Cris Cyborg and Yana Kunitskaya. A men’s featherweight bout between Frankie Edgar and Brian Ortega is scheduled for the co-main event.