Sean O’Malley Names His Toughest Test At Bantamweight

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UFC Sean O'Malley
Image courtesy of the UFC

Sean O’Malley has named who he thinks would give him a run for his money at bantamweight.

The UFC bantamweight champion is gearing up to defend his crown against Marlon Vera at UFC 299, where he believes he will come out on top.

If he does, there will be a long list of contenders waiting for him, particularly Merab Dvalishvili, but one name in particular excites O’Malley the most.

During a recent conversation with ESPN, O’Malley said that Umar Nurmagomedov would be his toughest test at bantamweight.

“People think I’m avoiding tough fights,” O’Malley said. “Umar is probably the toughest fight, and yeah, I’ve been bringing his name up – but it also has to make sense. Umar isn’t a star at all. There’s potential to be a star/star – superstar. I believe I’m a superstar. I believe ‘Chito’ (Vera) is a star. I believe Umar is a potential superstar, literally because he has the last name Nurmagomedov. I’ve never watched the dude fight. I’ve watched some highlights. He’s very skilled. He trains at a good gym. His last name is Nurmagomedov. He’s Russian. He has potential because of that.

“I lied – I think I’ve watched him fight some dude where I think he kneed him in the lips, so I’ve watched him fight once. I feel like just with the name and the skill of the UFC being able to promote certain people, and he comes from that gym – Khabib (Nurmagomedov), I think they train together; he’ll be in his corner. O’Malley – Irish … it’s there. There’s something there. If he can become a star with that, that’s the fight I want, too. I don’t want just the easiest fight. I want the biggest fight, and if I have two options and one guy I think is a little bit better of a challenge, I’ll take that one.”

Do you agree with Sean O’Malley?