Sean O’Malley has seized the number one contender’s spot at bantamweight following a controversial win at UFC 280 this past weekend.
The previously tenth-ranked ‘Suga’ took a considerable jump up the 135-pound ladder after his split decision victory over the man who occupied the top spot prior, Petr Yan. In doing so, he leaped both Merab Dvalishvili, who’s currently on an eight-fight win streak inside the UFC, as well as Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera – the only man to best O’Malley inside the Octagon – who holds recent wins over Frankie Edgar, Rob Font and Dominick Cruz.
Though O’Malley has seemingly laid claim to the next title shot, the waters are murky at 135-pounds and coming off a controversial win, it may not be as clear cut in the promotions eyes. Dana White himself suggested that Henry Cejudo may be in the mix at the UFC 280 post-fight press conference.
Asked who he would like to fight next, current champion Aljamaine Sterling told MMA Fighting that he believes O’Malley is the ‘biggest’ fight, ‘no one cares’ about Henry Cejudo and the ‘Chito’ fight is a weird one – apparently there’s some unresolved issues there.
“I’m here to compete against the best in the world and if Chito’s the guy that they think is going to be the guy to beat me, I think I do the same exact thing to him as well. He might have a little bit better jiu-jitsu [than Dillashaw], he might have two arms, but I think we can all agree if I take you down it’s literally a problem.”
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You can cut the tension with a knife:
Words are wind:
Jake Matthews shows his respect:
Brian Ortega wants to know the Dagestani secrets:
A long, hard road:
Damon Jackson vying for a shot at Edson Barboza:
And a simple sentiment to finish off with;
The morning view
Marlon Moraes talks PFL with JHK:
Luke Thomas takes a closer look at Islam Makhachev’s UFC 280 performance:
The Weasle does a deep dive on O’Malley vs Yan:
And discusses what’s next for the bantamweight division:
- Bryce Mitchell to fight Ilia Topuria at UFC 282 on December 10th (per David Van Auken)
- K.Rodrigues out. Cody Durden will now fight Carlos Mota at UFC Vegas 63 on October 29th (per Guilherme Cruz)
- None to note
On this day in MMA…
On the 25th of October, 2008, Junior dos Santos (6-1) made his UFC debut at UFC 90: Silva vs Cote.
JDS drew a dangerous first test in future UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum, 11-3 at the time, who entered the contest as a -650 favorite on various sports books. Despite the public’s consensus, it was dos Santos who put a quick stop to the bout with a TKO just 1:21 into the first round.
Following the loss, Werdum would leave the UFC for a four-year stint while dos Santos would amass a ten-fight win streak inside the promotion, landing himself the UFC heavyweight title in the process.
Currently, dos Santos rides a five-fight skid – his most recent loss coming in 2022 to Yorgan de Castro in Eagle FC. He’s shown no interest in retirement.