The Scottish-Australian standout has revealed that she’s set to make her return on an international pay-per-view in March of next year after a grueling 13-month layoff; the result of a torn ACL and subsequent surgery earlier this year.
While she can’t name a specific card or opponent, she told The AllStar she already has the date locked in.
“I’ll say this, I’m coming back in March.”
When she finally re-enters the Octagon, O’Neill confirmed that it will be at her regular weight of 125-pounds – however, she hinted that her time in that division may be coming to a close.
“I’ve been thinking about a lot lately,” the 24-year-old said of her future in the promotion on a recent episode of The AllStar’s MMA Live show. “I want to fight the best in the world, and I think the best in the world is at [strawweight] right now.”
“So it’s been a big thought for me,” she continued. “But 125 is easy – I cut zero weight. Like I literally cut three pounds to make 125. Fighting at 125 they call me with a name, I just say ‘sure, yep no worries.’ But I think that in the long term, I maybe want to look at going down to 115 and fighting the best girls there. But we’ll see what my body does – I’m still growing. I’m 24 years old so, we’ll see.”
It’s no secret that the UFC’s strawweight division is, for lack of a better word, stacked. Home to seven of the top fifteen best pound-for-pound female fighters in the organization, competition is fierce toward the top of the ladder. Regardless, ‘King’ Casey believes that, with her skillset and presumed size advantage in the lighter weight class, she has a solid chance of putting together a run at 115-pounds.
“I’m a lot stronger and a lot bigger than them,” O’Neill opined on her 115-pound peers.
Revealing that she cuts a minuscule amount to make the flyweight divisional limit of 125-pounds, O’Neill’s proposed drop to strawweight should present a few issues under the watchful eye of “The Fight Dietician” Jordan Sullivan; plus, having fought at strawweight on the regional circuit in the past, the surging prospect already knows what’s involved in the process.
“I think that making [the weight] now would be a lot easier than it was back then – now that I’ve gained some muscle and some size and actually know what I’m doing as an athlete and not just doing this for fun. This is my life now.”
“Maybe I’ll go up to 35 and take a short notice fight there too,” O’Neill proposed. “I’m not scared to do that either. So yeah, whatever happens, happens.”