Sean O’Malley has always been a confident guy, and that doesn’t seem to have changed even after tasting defeat for the first time in his MMA career. That being said, the bantamweight prospect says he doesn’t want fans betting on him anymore after that loss last August. O’Malley says they should put money on Thomas Almeida at UFC 260 instead.
”I would tell you guys to be on me, but I said that last time and I still get messages from people saying I owe them a thousand bucks.” Sean O’Malley explained to Helen Yee. “So don’t bet on me. Bet on Thomas (Almeida). Bet on Thomas to win. There you go.”
After the defeat to Marlon Vera, O’Malley has also made it clear that he isn’t looking past his opponent anymore. In previous fights, he’d regularly talk about his path to the title and would even call out stars from much higher divisions, but now O’Malley seems to have a different mindset.
“I’ve got to take it a fight at a time,” O’Malley said, when asked about his plans a year from now. “Learning from that last fight, things don’t go your way. No matter how hard I prepare, no matter what happens, things aren’t going to go your way always. Freak accidents can happen, so I’m going to focus on Thomas.
”I’m healthy. I feel good. I’m so excited for this fight. I think it’s going to be a badass kickboxing fight. I don’t think he will try and come out and wrestle me — he’ll gas himself out. He’s not going to be able to take me down. I think it’s going to be a good kickboxing fight and I just don’t see how I don’t put his lights out. I’m too fast. I’m sharp. I’m too focused. There’s just no way he beats me, but I can’t say that because you just never know what’s gonna happen, but I do feel good fro this fight. I feel like it’s a good matchup for me.”
His opponent in Almeida was also previously thought of as a top prospect and rising star back in 2015. Much like O’Malley, Almeida also started out his UFC career with four impressive wins, with his highlight reel knockouts garnering him considerable hype and fanfare. Unfortunately, he then struggled against top level competition and lost four of his next five bouts. Even with a two-year hiatus in the middle of that stretch, Almeida is still just 29-years-old.
O’Malley, 26, is currently 4-1 in the UFC. He had a great start to his UFC career, but his last loss dropped him out of the top 15 rankings.