Sean O’Malley expressed his interest in fighting former bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo despite feeling that the matchup would be easy work for him. Unfortunately for O’Malley, Cejudo fell just short in his recent comeback fight against current bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling at UFC 288, ending his hopes of another massive fight against featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski or one of the numerous contenders at 135 pounds.
O’Malley has positioned himself as the No. 1 contender at bantamweight after defeating Petr Yan in his most recent outing and believes that it was better for Cejudo to lose to Sterling so as not to end up in his crosshairs. He thinks Cejudo is annoying and has a fighting style that is not suitable for someone as smart as he is.
O’Malley remarked that he would have loved to sleep Cejudo, who he believes fights like he’s a tall guy even though he is not, and walks out with his chin up, making him an easy target.
With Sterling having knocked off Cejudo, T.J. Dillashaw, and Petr Yan in his first three UFC title defenses, a meeting with O’Malley seems like the logical continuation of this run. Both parties are confident that the fight will happen this year.
Although O’Malley feels that a fight with Cejudo would do bigger box office than one with Sterling, he’s confident in his own drawing power regardless of who he shares the octagon with. He believes that a fight between him and Sterling could double or triple the pay-per-view numbers.
There are plenty of reasons why O’Malley might enjoy fighting Cejudo somewhere down the road, whether it’s because he sees the upside in possibly picking up a win over a combat sports legend or that he would love to punch him in the face. However, only time will tell if this fight will ever happen.