Daniel Cormier has some advice for Sean O’Malley regarding his first UFC championship opportunity.
Following his split decision win against Petr Yan at UFC 280 this past October, O’Malley became the No. 1 contender in the bantamweight division. For his next fight, the ‘Sugar Show’ said he was ‘guaranteed’ a title shot, which would be against the winner of Aljamain Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo.
However, the UFC has yet to announce Sterling vs. Cejudo as official, leaving O’Malley in limbo. Because he has no idea when his title shot would come, the Contender Series alum thought about accepting another fight and staying active.
“I’m in a tricky position,” said O’Malley on the Believe You Me podcast. “I always knew I’d be in this position where you’re at the top of the division. It doesn’t really make sense to fight. I’m guaranteed a title shot. Obviously, ‘Aljo’ and Henry still have to be announced. I’m kind of in that position to where I’m like, ‘Do I be smart like I’ve done my entire career and just wait for those two dorks to fight, or do I risk it and go fight someone else?’ Which wouldn’t be the intelligent thing to do, but it’s like you only get so many years to fight, and I don’t really like sitting around too much. But I’m leaning towards waiting for Aljo and Henry to fight and just wait for that.”
Should O’Malley lean the other way, Cormier would want him to avoid a fight with Merab Dvalishvili.
“There’s only one name that I would steer clear of if I’m Sean O’Malley, and that’s Merab Dvalishvili,” said Cormier on his official YouTube channel. “Because I believe that Merab and his pressure fighting style could present some matchup problems for O’Malley. Am I saying no, he can’t win? Not at all. But I’m saying because of the wrestling, the pressure, you don’t want to be stuck in there with Merab. The dude’s a savage.”
As frustrated as O’Malley is with Sterling vs. Cejudo not being announced, Cormier cautions him from doing something that could risk his title shot. And accepting a fight against Dvalishvili would do exactly that.
“I get being frustrated. But, Sean O’Malley, do not allow for the frustration to lead to bad decisions,” said Cormier. “I think the fight with Merab, when on the verge of a title fight, could be a bad decision. Yeah, he can win. Absolutely. I think the kid is as good as anyone. No one could have told me that this kid from the Contender Series would become this. It’s been great to see, and I don’t know when Sean will fight for the title, but I do know that when he does, it’ll be a massive moment for the UFC. Because this is a kid that went from unknown and unheralded to potential UFC champion. Hats off to the ‘Sugar Show.’”
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