With Aljamain Sterling falling from his next fight with Petr Yan, Sean O’Malley has hinted that he could replace him.
O’Malley has repeatedly called Yan in the past, instantly creating a narrative behind a potential clash.
According to MMA Fight, Aljamain Sterling gave up his first title defense. His rematch with Petr Yan was scheduled to take place at UFC 267. The withdrawal of the champion leaves challenger and former champion Yan in limbo with the date of the fight in just a few weeks.
Sean O’Malley initially appeared to be aiming for a return to the UFC Octagon in December, with Brian Kelleher among the names presented as potential opponents. However, he recently posted the following on his Twitter account:
Sean O’Malley is currently unrated. However, he has a huge following, with his most recent fight opening the main card of UFC 264, a pay-per-view that was headlined by MMA superstar Conor McGregor.
Petr Yan, meanwhile, lost the title to Aljamain Sterling after being disqualified due to an illegal knee. Sterling received a strong reaction after the fight, with many fans and fighters believing he was faking an injury in order to secure the victory.
Does Sean O’Malley deserve a shot against Petr Yan?
If Sean O’Malley fights Yan, he would essentially skip the entire top 15 and jump straight into a likely provisional title clash. With the UFC choosing to slowly build its mark against mostly unranked opposition, O’Malley is currently sitting numberless next to his name.
That’s not to say Sean O’Malley isn’t an elite mixed martial artist. His performances against Kris Moutinho, Thomas Almeida and Eddie Wineland posted incredible performances, with the latter two providing highlight reel finishes.
However, Sean O’Malley failed against Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera, who was able to finish him in the first round. Due to the method of victory, which saw ‘Suga’ injuring her leg as a result of kicking her legs, O’Malley said he did not consider her a real loss, much to the chagrin from much of the MMA community.
Sean O’Malley is certainly good enough to compete at the highest level. However, it would be completely unfair to the rest of the division for him to simply jump to the top.
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