Morning Report: Sean O’Malley says he’s getting a title shot with a win at UFC 280: ‘The UFC needs a champion like me’

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Sean O’Malley believes he’s the champion the UFC needs right now.

This October, O’Malley will face the biggest test of his career when he fights former bantamweight champion Petr Yan at UFC 280. With a win, O’Malley expects to get the next crack at the bantamweight title against the winner of Aljamain Sterling and T.J. Dillashaw, which also takes place on that card, and when he does, he believes he will become the 135-pound champion the UFC has been looking for.

“I was trying to be humble, but you’re absolutely right. I f****** beat Petr, I’m going to be the champ, I’m going to fight for the belt,” O’Malley told Michael Bisping on Bisping’s YouTube channel. “That’s what everyone wants. The UFC needs a champion like me. So yeah, you’re 100 percent right. I go out there and starch Petr, he face plants on Oct. 22 in Abu Dhabi, on a massive card, you’re pretty accurate in saying I’ll get the title shot. Especially with Aljo and T.J. being on that card.”

O’Malley is currently only the No. 13-ranked bantamweight in the UFC’s rankings, having never beaten a Top-10 fighter. “Suga” had the opportunity in his most recent outing against Pedro Munhoz at UFC 276, but the bout ended in a no-contest after O’Malley delivered an inadvertent eye poke that stopped the match. Still, a win over No. 1-ranked Yan would seemingly put him in that title conversation. Unless, according to O’Malley, Dillashaw defeats Sterling to become the new bantamweight champion.

“I’m pretty sure T.J. said he wouldn’t fight me for his title defense,” O’Malley said. “There’s a couple ways you could look at that. You could look at that like he doesn’t want to fight me because he knows I’m good, or that’s pretty much the only reason I can figure out why he wouldn’t want to fight me. I’m the biggest fight in the division for anybody.”

Dillashaw certainly has been critical of O’Malley in the past, saying that he “has too many holes” to become champion, however, a win over Yan may be enough to change Dillashaw’s mind. Because to hear him tell it, O’Malley believes he can beat Yan anywhere the fight goes, and he plans to silence his doubters at UFC 280.

“I believe this is going to be a sweet kickboxing match,” O’Malley said. “Petr says he’s a master of boxing, I believe I’m the best MMA striker in the UFC, so I do believe it will be a very interesting, high-level kickboxing match… I don’t think he’s coming to wrestle, and if he does, I wouldn’t mind choking him. I’m very, very confident in my jiu-jitsu. I really haven’t gotten to show it at all.”

UFC 280 takes place on Oct. 22 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.

Accusations. Aljamain Sterling responds to T.J. Dillashaw: ‘The guy’s still cheating, he’s still finding ways to cheat’.

Boxing. Cris Cyborg will face Simone Silva in professional boxing debut next month.

Trying. Kayla Harrison pleads for Cris Cyborg ‘winner take all’ fight, invites her to ‘juice to the gills’.

Retirement. Uriah Hall ‘stepping away’ from MMA following UFC 276 loss to Andre Muniz.

Boxing. Sam Alvey angles for Jake Paul fight after UFC release, reveals past sparring run-in: ‘He was a douche’.

No Deal. Dana White explains passing on Hulu deal out of respect for Mike Tyson: ‘I killed the deal’.

RIP. Martial arts legend ‘Judo’ Gene LeBell dies at 89.

The MMA Hour.

Marlon Vera before UFC San Diego.

Dominick Cruz before UFC San Diego.

Jiri Prochazka on GQ.

No Bets Barred. Breaking down the best bets at UFC San Diego.


Fans want the fight

Fighters want the fight

I have watched and listened … @PFLMMA will provide all money and handle all matters @KaylaH v @criscyborg

$1M each fighter + $2M winner bonus

PPV Super Fight … no more talk … decide the best inside the cage#KaylaCyborg

— Donn Davis (@DonnDavisPFL) August 10, 2022

Cris Cyborg doing a horrendous job with optics here.

Kayla’s own manager said people aren’t interested in her on PPV. She doesn’t have 1 fight related video on free YouTube with a million views…

— Grand Slam Champ (@criscyborg) August 10, 2022

we would both be 0-0 in boxing…if you want these hands that badly.

— Grand Slam Champ (@criscyborg) August 10, 2022

Quoting someone isn’t twisting their words.

I just wish everyone would just stop twisting Dominic words man. It’s frustrating, we’re friends I know you heard him tell me he loves me yesterday at the end of our interview. No one could fake that

— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) August 11, 2022

Light heavyweight.

This is a dumb statement. Learn to read with comprehension.

— Jan Blachowicz (@JanBlachowicz) August 10, 2022

MMA math doesn’t work. I was almost out of the UFC, made adjustments and became the Champ.

— Jan Blachowicz (@JanBlachowicz) August 10, 2022

I never promised you our fight @JanBlachowicz I just said you are the challange what I want to Cut.

Second thing is, Iam still waiting for answer from @gloverteixeira. If you’re not interested, let me know. I want to fight till the end of this year. No matter who. ⚡️

— Jiri BJP Prochazka (@jiri_bjp) August 10, 2022

UFC 282-December 10-Las Vegas

— Jiri BJP Prochazka (@jiri_bjp) August 11, 2022

Paulo Costa is in fight shape.


Sellin the Ram. I’ve dripped blood sweat tears and semen in this truck. I ain’t takin no less than 22k

2017. 48,000 miles. Tailgate opens with a screwdriver.

— Bryce Mitchell (@ThugnastyMMA) August 11, 2022

Jared Cannonier (15-6) vs. Sean Strickland (25-4); UFC Fight Night, Oct. 15.

Thanks for reading! See y’all tomorrow.

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

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