Sean O’Malley says the idea of a rematch with Pedro Munhoz was a ship that sailed the moment their bantamweight matchup at UFC 276 was declared a No Contest (NC) after ‘Suga’ landed an accidental eye poke on ‘The Young Punisher’ in the second round.
O’Malley is treating the result as a win despite referee Jason Herzog ruling the bout a NC and urges fans to rewatch the fight in slow motion to decide whether or not he actually poked Kings MMA’s Munhoz, who suffered a corneal abrasion to his right eye, in the eye.
O’Malley is looking for a quick turnaround in his next fight where he will face former UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan in a possible title eliminator at UFC 280. He says the decision to fight ‘No Mercy’ over a rematch with Munhoz was a no-brainer.
“That ship has sailed. I mean, there’s no reason (for a rematch),” O’Malley, the No. 13-ranked bantamweight in the world, told Michael Bisping in a recent interview (h/t MMA News). “I’m talking to a guy (Bisping) who fought with one eye. You watch that replay back, you can say I poked him in the eye a little bit. I mean, Jared Cannonier, two fights later, got stabbed through the eyeball and continued to fight. So, to say a rematch would be — he had the option to fight.
“He said it was back-to-back eye pokes. You can go watch the entire fight in slow motion, you’re not gonna see another eye poke… There’s no point (in a rematch). Go look at the stats. Look how many times he hit me in the head, look how many times he hit me in the body, how many losses do I have?” O’Malley added whilst making ‘zero’ gestures for each statement. “There’s no point going back to fight him.”
UFC 280, which features Yan vs. O’Malley on the main card, takes place on Oct. 22 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.