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Sean O’Malley admits to throwing first ‘Chito’ fight to set up UFC title win, blockbuster rematch

Sounds like UFC bantamweight champion and the Suga State Athletic Commission need to get on the same page, since they can’t seem to agree on whether or not his performance against Marlon Vera at UFC 252 was a victory or a defeat.

The official records reflect a technical knockout loss.

Apparently that was all part of O’Malley’s master plan, because it set him on a path that not only ended with a knockout victory over Aljamain Sterling at UFC 292 in Boston, but also set up a blockbuster rematch against Vera in December.

“If I’m healthy and ready to go, I’d love to fight in December,” O’Malley told The MMA Hour. “If I fight ‘Chito’ next it’s because that’s what I want, and that’s the biggest fight. I’m in the fight business and I want the biggest fights. I never lost sleep over this fight. I’ve actually been playing chess for a long time. I lost that [first] fight on purpose just so that I could go out there and knock out ‘Aljo’ and have that be my biggest fight, rematch.”

O’Malley has been campaigning for a “Chito” rematch ever since his upset win over Sterling back in “Beantown,” which to no one’s surprise, was reciprocated by Vera, who also scored a victory at last month’s UFC 292 pay-per-view (PPV) event.

But not everyone is convinced this matchup is a done deal.

Matchmakers will have to decide if Vera is the best option for the bottom line. Top ranked contender Merab Dvalishvili is also a candidate for the next bantamweight title shot and former 135-pound champion, Henry Cejudo, is also pining for another crack at the crown.

Hopefully we can get some answers sooner, rather than later.

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