Top ranked UFC bantamweight contender Sean O’Malley isn’t sure who will fight for the title next, but says his next fight will be for the championship.
“I know my next fight is for the title,” O’Malley told ESPN.
O’Malley defeated former titleholder Petr Yan in his last outing at UFC 280 and put himself ranked at the top of the weight class. Champion Aljamain Sterling wants to face O’Malley next because he sees the matchup as a ‘money fight,’ but there may be another opponent that gets the opportunity.
Former two-division UFC champion and Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo could be Sterling’s next opponent. When Cejudo retired in 2020, he held the bantamweight title.
“Henry’s been out there talking and he wants to come back and he wants to, you know, and I think … how long has he been back in the USADA pool? Anyone know how long he’s been back in the USADA pool? Six months? Yeah, so you know, he could fight. So maybe you do him and Aljamain Sterling next,” UFC President Dana White said during the UFC 280 Post-Fight Press Conference.
If Cejudo does face Sterling next, O’Malley will be pulling for “Triple-C.” He would rather fight Cejudo for the title because he sees Cejudo as a ‘better win’ than a win over Sterling.
“It’s a better win, beating the two-time world champ, two weight [classes], Olympic gold medalist,” O’Malley said. “If you’re just going off that, what win looks better? A win over Aljo or a win over Henry? For me, a win over Henry looks better.”