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'Where you at?!' - Sean O'Malley appears to accept the UFC 264 challenge of a bantamweight rival

Images via Instagram @sugaseanmma @rickysimonufc
Images via Instagram @sugaseanmma @rickysimonufc
Frank Bonada
FEATURED WRITER

UFC bantamweight prospect Sean O'Malley was set to compete in the main card opener of UFC 264 against MMA veteran Louis Smolka.

However, Smolka has since contracted a staph infection, which has forced him out of the fight. O'Malley now appears to have singled out a replacement.

When news of Smolka's drop-out was first announced, a plethora of bantamweights and flyweights all took to social media to express their willingness to step in and fight O'Malley.

Brian Kelleher, Merab Dvalishvili, Cody Stamann and Tim Elliott all called out O'Malley. However, 'Sugar' has now made his own callout.

Sean O'Malley vs. Ricky Simon?

The callout would appear to reference Ricky Simon, a fellow 135lber who also called out Sean O'Malley. Simon holds an 18-3 record and is currently riding a three-fight winning streak.

Simon is an interesting choice for Sean O'Malley, considering that there is little similarity between him and O'Malley's original opponent Louis Smolka.

Simon primarily relies on an incredibly high level wrestling base, and is equally capable of grinding out his opponent for three rounds or locking up a submission after establishing a dominant position.

Sean O'Malley is yet to face an opponent with a skill set similar to that of Simon's so far in his UFC career. However, he has been able to overcome several established UFC fighters with respected credentials such as Thomas Almeida, Eddie Wineland and Andre Soukhamthath.


UFC 264: McGregor vs. Poirier 3

Regardless of who he gets matched up with, the card that O'Malley is set to compete on is the UFC 264 PPV, which features a main event between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.

The card has already lost one of its top fights as Kevin Lee sustained a rib injury that forced him to drop out of his welterweight bout with Sean Brady. Recent reports indicate that their fight will be rebooked in August.

Even with that fight falling out, the event is still stacked with talent. There is a co-main event between welterweight contenders Gilbert Burns and Stephen 'Wonderboy' Thompson, whilst heavyweights Tai Tuivasa and Greg Hardy clash in a fight that screams of a violent KO stoppage.


Watch: When other fighters got the better of Conor McGregor in trash talk

Edited by Harvey Leonard
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