Sean O’Malley has never been scared of losing because he knows he will become a UFC champion someday.
O’Malley has just one loss on his MMA record to date, an injury-TKO defeat to Marlon Vera at UFC 252 that saw ‘Suga’ finished in the first round after suffering a leg injury that caused him to lose his balance and fall to the ground.
O’Malley bounced back from that fight with a highlight-reel knockout of Thomas Almeida at UFC 260 followed by back-to-back stoppage victories over Kris Moutinho and Raulian Paiva at UFC 264 and UFC 269.
O’Malley’s momentum took a hit in his next fight after landing an accidental eye poke on Pedro Munhoz that resulted in a controversial No Contest (NC). Rather than schedule a rematch, O’Malley will take on former bantamweight champion Petr Yan in a possible title eliminator at UFC 280.
This is undoubtedly the toughest test of O’Malley’s career, one which he expects to pass with flying colors. With that said, he knows a loss will only be a minor setback and won’t affect his confidence going forward, predicting ‘world champ’ status no matter the result against Yan.
“The closer the fight gets, the more confident I’ll become. I’ll get back to camp, get dialed in, get back to sparring, get back to eating perfect, sleeping perfect, just getting everything dialed in,” O’Malley told ESPN in a recent interview (h/t BJPenn.com). “I’m just gonna get more confident as the fight gets closer. Then fight night, I’m gonna win that fight. Every fight that I go into, I’m okay with losing. I’m not attached to I have to win this fight. I’m gonna be a world champ someday, 100 percent. I’ve never been scared of losing, so I think the closer the fight gets, the more confident I’m gonna become.”
UFC 280, which is expected to feature Yan vs. O’Malley on the main card, will take place on Oct. 22 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.