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UFC 252’s Sean O’Malley claims ‘hot-headed’ Cody Garbrandt doesn't really want to fight him

MMA: UFC 248-O’malley vs Quinonez Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

A little rivalry is brewing between former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight champion, Cody Garbrandt, and rising contender, Sean O’Malley, as the two men have been exchanging verbal fire over social media for a while now.

While talks of a fight between the two were quickly shut down by UFC president Dana White, citing Cody’s vast experience advantage over “Suga,” it hasn’t stopped the two men from going at one another.

To hear O’Malley’s side of the tale, “No Love” doesn’t really want the fight regardless how hard he tries to tell himself and the media he does.

“I don’t think he wants to fight me,” O’Malley told MMA Fighting when asked about Garbrandt. “I might be a little biased … I don’t think Cody wants to fight me. I think he sees that fight, I’m long, I’m tall, I’m accurate, I throw straight punches, he throws hooks. He’s 5’3.” I’m 6’4.” He don’t want that fight.”

“I think I’ve been in his head. I think he probably watched my fight with Jose Quinonez because we didn’t have any beef back then but I bet he was thinking ‘I’m going to avoid that fight’ back then.”

The two men both competed at UFC 250 last June with each scoring a spectacular knockout wins with “No Love” sleeping Raphael Assuncao with a devastating strike (see it again here). O’Malley, meanwhile, knocked out Eddie Wineland with his own one-hitter quitter (video replay) and both earned an extra $50,000 “Performance of the Night” award. Afterward, the two engaged in a little debate trying to convince the other that their respective knockout was better.

Despite their back-and-forth, Sean says he respects Cody for being able to bounce back after three straight knockout losses.

“Then I knock out Eddie [Wineland] and he knocks out [Raphael] Assuncao but like I said, I think I said it on a podcast the other day, I respect Cody a lot. He got knocked out not once, not twice, he got knocked out three times in a row and then he comes back and fights a tough guy like Assuncao and he got the job done.”

“There’s respect there 100 percent but I just think my skillset versus his skillset, I beat him. That’s what it comes down to and obviously not afraid to express how I feel about that fight. He’s just getting hot headed, and obviously if someone talks crap, he’s going to talk crap back. It just worked out good.”

For now, Garbrandt has much bigger fish to fry as he is booked to take on newly-crowned Flyweight champion, Deiveson Figueiredo at the scheduled UFC 255 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Sat., Nov. 21, 2020 at a venue and location to be determined.

O’Malley, meanwhile, will look to remain undefeated in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career (12-0, 4-0 UFC) when he takes on Marlon Vera in the co-main event of UFC 252 this Sat. night (Aug, 15, 2020) in Las Vegas, Nevada.