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Sean O’Malley reveals why he’s ‘obviously’ rooting for Marlon Vera to beat Cory Sandhagen

Vera vs. O’Malley II, anyone? 

Sean O’Malley and Marlon Vera at weigh-ins for UFC 252.
Sean O’Malley and Marlon Vera at weigh-ins for UFC 252.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Sean O’Malley wants Marlon Vera to defeat Cory Sandhagen so they can have their much-anticipated rematch next year.

One of the biggest fights in the UFC bantamweight division is Vera vs. Sandhagen, which was announced as the headliner of UFC Vegas 69 scheduled for Sat., Feb. 18, at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. For O’Malley, fighting in the smaller cage at the UFC APEX should give ‘Chito’ the edge over the ’Sandman’.

“The APEX doesn’t have a big cage and it makes zero sense,” said O’Malley on a recent episode of the TimboSugarShow. “The big cage is what, 40 percent bigger than the small cage? Like, quite a bit, significantly bigger. That plays a role.

“I think it gives ‘Chito’ a pretty big advantage,” continued O’Malley. “I don’t know if advantage is the right word, but a disadvantage, rather, for Cory.”

Following his most recent win over Petr Yan at UFC 280 this past October, O’Malley became the new No. 1 contender. And though he has set his sights on the winner of Aljamain Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo, ‘Sugar’ has yet to receive word on when that would happen. However, O’Malley could miss out on that potential fight altogether.

According to the ‘Funk Master,’ a move from 135 pounds to 145 pounds is imminent. If it is, then O’Malley wants him and Vera to vie for the would-be vacant UFC bantamweight championship.

“I want ‘Chito’ to win, obviously,” said O’Malley. “Because then if that is the case, me vs. ‘Chito’ for the belt is massive. Or I go out there and beat whoever that is, and then first title defense against ‘Chito.’”

O’Malley and Vera first fought at UFC 252, where the Contender Series graduate suffered his first professional loss by first-round TKO.