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"He deserves to fight for that belt" - Sean O'Malley willing to let Jose Aldo take a crack at the bantamweight title next even if he beats Petr Yan at UFC 280

Sean O'Malley (left), Jose Aldo (right. Image credit: ESPN.com)
Sean O'Malley (left), Jose Aldo (right. Image credit: ESPN.com)
Joshua Ryan

Sean O'Malley has openly accepted that Jose Aldo should be next in line for a shot at the bantamweight title. This is if he gets past the dangerous Merab Dvalishvili in the co-headliner at UFC 278.

After falling to three straight losses, the 35-year-old legend fought his way back into the winner's column. He now has back-to-back wins in each of his last three fights. Earning victories over Chito Vera, Pedro Munhoz, and Rob Font has potentially placed the Brazilian within touching distance of UFC gold.

Sean O'Malley recently sat down in a press conference as shared on the UFC YouTube channel. He insisted that, even with an impressive win over his upcoming opponent Petr Yan, it should be Jose Aldo who gets the next crack at the 135lb strap. He said:

"Yeah, absolutely [Jose Aldo is somebody I want to fight]. I think he said he wants to beat Merab and then fight for the title. I wouldn't mind beating up Petr and letting Jose fight for the title, and then fighting the winner of those two. Jose's a legend and he deserves to fight for that belt."

Aljamain Sterling is set to defend his title against T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 279 and with all the moving parts at bantamweight, the division is set to look completely different by the end of the year.

Check out what O'Malley had to say about Aldo's potential final shot at a UFC championship in the video below:

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Is Sean O'Malley heading to the top of the division too soon?

Since joining the UFC from Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series back in 2017, Sean O'Malley has fought just two ranked opponents. So is he prepared to face the No.1-ranked bantamweight in the world?

Petr Yan has faced some of the best names in the sport, and has claimed wins over veterans like Jose Aldo and Uriah Faber. His best fight and most impressive performance to date is arguably his five-round barnburner against Cory Sandhagen.

'Sugar's' one and only loss of his career came at the hands of Chito Vera after a controversial first round back in 2020. Back-to-back knockout victories earned the flashy striker his first ranked opponent in Raulian Paiva, where he once again dominated his way to a win.

Sean O'Malley's last appearance inside the octagon was unfortunately cut short. An eye-poke ended his closely-contested clash with Pedro Munhoz at UFC 276 earlier this year.


Edited by Aditya Singh

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