UFC bantamweight Sean O’Malley has made it clear that he is following the Chael Sonnen playbook in trying to ‘fight the worst guy on the highest spot on the card’. He’s demonstrated that by admitting that he has no interest in taking on the top fighters of his division, while being paid the same to fight an Octagon debutante.
O’Malley recently booked a ranked opponent—Raulian Paiva (15) at UFC 269 this December. O’Malley will be fighting Paiva in the second fight of the pay-per-view, after Leon Edwards vs. Jorge Masvidal and before two title fights: Amanda Nunes vs. Julianna Pena and Charles Oliveira vs. Dustin Poirier.
The big end of year show event will draw a lot of eye-balls. That bumper audience will be treated to a fight featuring two other top bantamweights, too. On the prelim card Pedro Munhoz, who is ranked 8th, will be taking on former champ Dominick Cruz, who is currently ranked 9th.
Recently, on his podcast, O’Malley poked fun at ‘The Dominator’’s spot on the card and questioned if this ruled out the possibility that they may ever face each other.
“I don’t even know if I can fight Dominick Cruz anymore,” he said (ht sportskeeda). “After this fight dude, he’s not really on my radar, he’s kind of down like, like he might have to ask me for a fight. He lost that, which is not a good move for him. Me calling out Dominic Cruz after I get a win whether he wins or loses is just like, people kind of they’re gonna still want to see it but what is it? I don’t know, is he even main eventing the prelims anymore? Poor guy!”
O’Malley comes into his fight with Paiva with a 14-1 record. The only blemish on his career happened at UFC 252 last year, when he was TKO’d by Marlon Vera. Prior to that loss he was 5-0 in the Octagon with wins over Eddie Wineland and Jose Alberto Quinonez.
Since the loss to Vera, O’Malley has gone 2-0 with wins over Thomas Almeida and Kris Moutinho (a late replacement for Louis Smolka).