Sean O'Malley is done fighting unranked opponents. Not only does he have an upcoming fight against No. 10 ranked Pedro Munhoz at UFC 276, but he's also hoping to fight No. 5 ranked Marlon 'Chito' Vera after he wins.
In a new interview with The MMA Hour, O'Malley mapped out his timeline to fight for the UFC bantamweight belt. He said:
"Two more finishes, early 2023 I'm fighting for the belt, whoever has it. I think after this fight I go out there, I gotta finish Pedro [Munoz]. And I go out there, say I finish Pedro, I get a top five guy, whoever that is. Depending on if 'Chito' gets a fight booked, I know that's a fight that I want."
Sean O'Malley has previously talked down the idea of another fight against Vera, who beat him via first-round TKO back in August 2020.
"Sugar" explained what changed, saying:
"Well, in the past I said he's gotta to earn a rematch. And I think he's done that. He went out there and lost to Jose Aldo. Went out there and lost to Frankie Edgar then beat him with ... he basically lost. He lost thirteen minutes of a fight. He finished Frankie. Two more minutes of that fight and he loses that. But I'll say it, he knocked out Frankie and he went out there and he looked really good against Rob ... So he's definitely improved and he's earned that rematch. People hate it when I say that but it's true, he earned it."
Watch Sean O'Malley discuss a Marlon Vera rematch on The MMA Hour below:
Sean O'Malley has never given Vera credit for beating him in their fight, going so far as to continue calling himself undefeated following the loss.
At this point, it's clear that "Sugar" enjoys trolling fans and Vera at every opportunity. With 'Chito' on a three-fight winning streak and gaining popularity for his violent style of fighting, a rematch will only be bigger following all of O'Malley's taunts.
Sean O'Malley fights Pedro Munoz at UFC 276
Sean O'Malley last entered the octagon at UFC 269 in December 2021, earning a first-round KO win over Raulian Paiva. He takes a big step up in competition on July 2 when he faces No. 10 ranked Pedro Munhoz.
O'Malley discussed the matchup on The MMA Hour and revealed it was the first name UFC matchmakers suggested. He said:
"I think it makes sense, we both fought on that last card. It's a good step up, you look at his last couple losses, they're to former world champion Dominick Cruz, Jose Aldo, Frankie Edgar. He's not losing to some scrubs. I think 'Prelim' Pedro is the real deal. I think he's my toughest opponent to date, one hundred percent, no questions asked."
UFC 276 also features a middleweight title fight between Israel Adesanya and Jared Cannonier, plus the third fight between Max Holloway and featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski.