UFC bantamweight contender Sean O'Malley admitted he was overwhelmed by the sheer presence of Francis Ngannou.
Based on first impressions alone, anybody who sees Francis Ngannou would believe he's destined to prevail in the main event of UFC 260 and become the new heavyweight champion this Saturday. Sean O'Malley claimed he was a little "scared" of Francis Ngannou when he saw the Cameroonian giant in person.
In an episode of UFC 260 Embedded, Sean O'Malley and his coach Tim Welch were shown casually talking about the number one heavyweight contender during a limo ride. Tim Welch asked O'Malley what his strategy would be if he was the man standing opposite Ngannou in the octagon and whether he would utilize the overhand right. Sean O'Malley replied:
"What is an overhand gonna do? Stipe hit him with some right hands and he didn’t even move. That’s f---ing scary to even think about,"
"He scared me when we walked past him," Sean O'Malley admitted. "But I think I scared him a little. I saw him get a little intimidated," he jested.
However, Francis Ngannou's overwhelming size wasn't enough to take the heavyweight title away from Stipe Miocic during their first encounter back in 2018.
Sean O'Malley believes he is still undefeated
Fortunately for Sean O'Malley, fighting Francis Ngannou is none of his concern. That honor belongs to UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, who will be defending his crown for the first time since August 2020 this weekend.
Instead, Sean O'Malley will try to get back on the winning track against Thomas Almeida on the main card of Saturday night's event. This will be Sean O'Malley's first fight since suffering a TKO loss to Marlon Vera this past August.
Sean O’Malley sustained his first career defeat after Marlon Vera connected with a low kick that triggered nerve damage in his leg. Vera then followed up with flurry of strikes that led to the TKO finish. However, during the UFC 260 press conference, Sean O'Malley insisted that his undefeated status should remain intact, even if his record says otherwise.
“The way I lost that last fight, it wasn’t because he was a better fighter, [or] he was more skilled. How many leg kicks have been thrown from when that happened until now, and how many times has that happened where you got drop foot? He didn’t take me down. My leg completely gave out, and I landed on my back. It happened like that, it is what it is, but it doesn’t affect me at all going into this fight. In my mind, [I’m] 12-0 coming off the Eddie [Wineland] fight, and I’m in a good spot. I’m mentally in a really good spot. I feel good”