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Sean O’Malley is fighting Eddie Wineland because UFC can’t afford ‘better guys’

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Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight striking sensation Sean O’Malley is booked to throw hands against longtime mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran Eddie Wineland at the upcoming UFC 250 pay-per-view (PPV) event, taking place Sat., June 6, 2020 inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.

It was a disappointing match up for those combat sports fans hoping to see O’Malley (11-0), still just 25, pushed into a higher-profile pairing against a ranked opponent. Unfortunately for the “Suga” show, the promotion isn’t ready to shell out the kind of cash required for a more dangerous opponent.

“I’m honestly not in a hurry,” O’Malley told The Luke Thomas Show about fighting for the title. “It depends how much the UFC, if they’re gonna pay me what they pay me now I’ll be like, ‘Yeah, I fight other guys.’ If you want to pay me more money to fight better guys, I’ll fight the better guys. But I’m not going to fight the better guys right now with the money you’re paying me right now. It just doesn’t make sense from a business perspective.”

The promotion has come under fire for holding back some of that $7 billion UFC President Dana White now claims it’s worth. Not only did Donald Cerrone get shafted on PPV points at UFC 246, both Jon Jones and Francis Ngannou were told to pound sand when it came time to negotiate a heavyweight super fight.

“From a fighter’s mind, I want to obviously fight the best guys in the world,” O’Malley said. “I want to be champ. But in a business mindset, it’s like, ‘Okay, you’re going to pay me this amount, I’m gonna fight someone that’s not the best in the world right now.’ So it totally depends on what the UFC wants to pay.”

Fighter pay has long been a hot-button topic and White and Co. don’t appear to be in any big hurry to budge on finances. Probably because they’re too busy greasing the wallets of celebrity investors like Mark Wahlberg and the rest of the Endeavor elite.