Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Sean O’Malley is a controversial figure. While undeniably talented, the flashy Bantamweight prospect has turned heads with his general lack of interest in climbing the ladder in traditional fashion, as well as his “undefeated” remarks. Even big fans would likely admit “The Suga Show” has a bit of an ego.
In the fight game, however, that confidence is often key. Speaking with ESPN, O’Malley doubled down on his undefeated feelings and explained why he feels he’s the “unranked champ.”
“The UFC rankings have always been something not super important to me,” O’Malley explained. “So, the merchandise says ‘Unranked Champ 15’ because this is my 15th fight and I’m about to be 15-0. That fight against Vera, I don’t feel like I lost because his skills were better. I don’t think he truly, truly thinks he won the fight, either, the way it played out. It was so rare. Look at how many times I’ve been kicked in other fights; you don’t see my whole leg go numb the way it did against him. Mentally, I don’t feel that I lost. If Vera goes out in a rematch and beats me in a decision or finishes me fair and square, I’ll have no issue saying I lost.
I lose in sparring, I lose in grappling. I’m not worried about losing. I just don’t feel like I lost that fight, and a lot of people hate that I say that.”
Additionally, O’Malley defended his “champion” status by arguing that he’s the biggest star in the division, though he later admitted a fight with Petr Yan does really appeal to him.
“Petr Yan is the champ right now. He’s beaten the people he needs to beat to be the champ in the UFC. But I feel I’m the people’s champ. I have more eyeballs on me than anyone else in the bantamweight division. That’s what I consider ‘the champ.’ I’m the most entertaining. People care about me the most. That’s what ‘the champ’ is to me.”
O’Malley will return to action vs. Brazilian slugger Raulian Paiva this Saturday night (Dec. 11, 2021) at UFC 269 from inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Will he leave the cage with his
undefeated championship reign win streak intact?
Charles Oliveira doesn’t get paid by the hour; that man is a finisher!
Charles Oliveira is the only current UFC champion who has never fought in the championship rounds.— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) December 6, 2021
I asked him if it's something that he aspires to do and here is a screenshot of how he reacted.
He never wants his fights to go long enough that they go to the judges' scorecards. pic.twitter.com/G9uYE9Tjc1
The highly hyped Muhammad Mokaev has a debut opponent in Cody Durden.
Here we go! Cody getting smashed! See you in London my people @ufc @ParadigmSports pic.twitter.com/StKIehYwTn— Muhammad Mokaev (@muhammadmokaev) December 7, 2021
Thor Bjornsson’s boxing training has him looking pretty lean!
Will UFC 269 feature the debut of Joe Rogan’s new Texas accent?
Joe has a Texas accent. pic.twitter.com/j9KUAwyY3n— Borrachinha Depot (@FullContactMTWF) December 7, 2021
Chase Hooper gives us a realistic look into self-defense strategies vs. a gun.
Contrary to Derrick Lewis’ caption, I am not so sure this woman is doing alright.
Is Jose Aldo above or below Khabib Nurmagomedov on your personal GOAT rankings?
Slips, rips, and KO clips
Here’s an important reminder: Josh Emmett returns from his ACL injury this weekend, and that man hits unreasonably hard.
One of the more insane knockouts that I’ve come across while running this column.
Who should Andy Ruiz fight next?
The cat makes the clip.
Midnight Music: My mom linked me to David Byrne’s “alternative Christmas playlist,” and it’s precisely as strange and non-Christmas-y as one would expect.
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.