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Sean O’Malley: Dominick Cruz fighting on UFC 269 prelims proves ‘I’m the unranked champ’

Sean O’Malley believes he’s the uncrowned champion of the bantamweight division.

Sean O’Malley is still competing at UFC 264, meeting promotional newcomer Kris Moutinho.
Sean O’Malley makes his walk to the cage prior to his bantamweight fight against Andre Soukhamthath at UFC 222 in Las Vegas, Nevada on March 3, 2018.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Sean O’Malley says Dominick Cruz fighting against Pedro Munhoz on the UFC 269 prelims proves that he’s actually the uncrowned champion of the bantamweight division.

O’Malley knows Cruz will receive the same payday whether he fights on the prelims or the main card but says fighting below ‘Suga’ on one of the biggest UFC cards of the year will come at a cost to his ego.

“They’re gonna get paid the same whether they’re on the main card or the prelims,” O’Malley told The Schmo ahead of his upcoming bantamweight bout against Raulian Paiva at UFC 269. “I’m gonna get paid the same whether I open up the main card or am on the prelims, so, as far as making money-wise, it doesn’t really matter — we’re getting paid the same. But for your ego, that’s gotta hurt. Being talked about as one of the best bantamweights ever, and you’re on the prelims.”

“Prelim Pedro (Munhoz) vs Dominick (Cruz), it just makes sense down there (on the prelims). I haven’t talked to anybody that’s, like, super excited for that fight. They’re both Top 10, I’m pretty sure. Me and (Raulian) Paiva aren’t even ranked. We’re opening up the main card. So, I think it just goes to show – I’m the unranked champ.”

O’Malley will, indeed, kick off the UFC 269 main card while Cruz fights Munhoz on the prelims. The highly anticipated PPV, which features a headlining lightweight title bout between Charles Oliveira as well as a women’s bantamweight title fight between Amanda Nunes and Juliana Pena, takes place on Dec. 11 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.