In a recent interview with Ariel Helwani of ESPN MMA, Dominick Cruz shared his thoughts on the potential matchup with Sean O'Malley and the striking similarities between their fighting styles. The veteran fighter told Helwani that O'Malley is a young fighter that uses a lot of tools that Cruz revolutionized in the sport (feints, range management, and an ability to fight long).
"Am I interested in fighting in (2021) again? Yes. Do I need to call out one specific person? No. Am I saying no to one specific person? No. And I could also see how that could be a matchup that people are talking about. He feints a lot. He uses his range well. He is tall, he is long. I am tall, I am long. I use feints. We have a lot of similarities..."
However, Dominick Cruz clarified that he has not had a conversation with UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby about his next fight, hinting that the fight against Sean O'Malley is still not in the works.
"...And if he is an up-and-coming athlete, I'm sure he's watched a ton of my fights and saw how I was successful and I see he uses a lot of that stuff. So no, I am not opposed to it. But I haven't talked to (Sean) Shelby or anything and I am just getting back in the training again now," Dominick Cruz said.
Sean O'Malley wants to fight Dominick Cruz in the co-main event of the Poirier vs McGregor 3 fight card
The talk about a potential fight between Sean O'Malley and Dominick Cruz kicked off during the UFC 260 post-show on ESPN. Retired UFC fighter and analyst Chael Sonnen claimed on the show that Dominick Cruz texted him saying that he was interested in fighting Sean O'Malley. Dominick Cruz refuted Sonnen's claim during the interview with Ariel Helwani. However, in an interview with Pat McAfee, Sean O'Malley expressed his interest in fighting Cruz in the co-main event of the Dustin Poirier vs Conor McGregor 3 fight card that is expected to take place in July 2021.
The potential co-main event slot on the Conor McGregor fight card is a lucrative opportunity that can catapult either fighter into the bantamweight title picture. Sean O'Malley is the famous up-and-coming fighter that has not defeated top competition in his UFC career so far and a fight against Cruz would allow him to add that name to his resume. Meanwhile, Dominick Cruz is an aging veteran that could re-enter the title picture with a win over a touted prospect like O'Malley. The fight is crucial for the bantamweight division as it will be the biggest test of both fighter's careers concerning their standing at present.
Dominick Cruz and Sean O'Malley both bounced back with impressive wins over Casey Kenney and Thomas Almeida, respectively. This was after dropping their last fights via KO/TKO. Currently ranked No. 9 in the UFC's bantamweight rankings, Dominick Cruz will be the first top-ten ranked opponent of Sean O'Malley's UFC career.