Dana White has explained why he doesn’t want Sean O’Malley to be fast tracked like Khamzat Chimaev, who was scheduled to fight top welterweight contender Leon Edwards with only three promotional fights under his belt. Although the bout was cancelled on three different occasions due to COVID. ‘Borz’ recently won his fourth UFC fight in a dominant fashion against Li Jingliang at UFC 267, and is now eyeing a potential fight against a top-five opponent.
O’Malley has won five out of his six fights in the UFC, with his only loss coming at the hands of Marlon Vera at UFC 252. He most recently fought at UFC 264, where he finished promotional newcomer Kris Moutinho in the third round in a one-sided fight. In a fairly short time, ‘Suga’ has become one of the most talked about fighters in the UFC, but as with all rising stars, the 27-year-old has his share of critics, who believe he is deliberately avoiding ranked competition.
Dana White on Sean O’Malley
Speaking to Barstool Sports (as transcribed by MMA News), Dana said that O’Malley is an incredible talent, but he’s not ready for a step up in competition just yet.
“It has nothing to do with his contract. I mean, he’s not ready,” Dana said. “You guys wanna throw him to the wolves. You don’t move somebody that fast, unless they’re Khamzat Chimaev. Khamzat is a guy you feel comfortable moving that fast. I mean, O’Malley just lost a couple fights ago. Talking about bigger fights and all that s***, this is a tough fight for him on Saturday night.
“In his last fight he looked incredible, he put on a clinic. I think because O’Malley’s so popular and whatever, you’re always gonna have the critics that give this kid s***. He’s a tough kid, he’s fun, he’s exciting to watch, but he’s making his way, you know, the way you’re supposed to. You don’t just turn O’Malley around and throw him against killers. That’s not how it works.”
Do you agree with Dana White’s thoughts on Sean O’Malley?