Sean O’Malley promises he’s not a sore loser.
Ahead of his return to action at UFC 260 this weekend, the popular bantamweight has come forward as undefeated with hopes of moving up to 13-0 in his career as he prepares to face Thomas Almeida on the main pay-per-view card.
There’s only one problem – O’Malley’s record reads 12-1 after suffering a TKO loss to Marlon Vera in his last outing last October. The bout ended after he fell to the ground with a leg injury, and “Chito” Vera punched him out until the referee called a stoppage of the bout.
Now, seven months later, O’Malley says his stance on staying undefeated has nothing to do with the bad blood he had with Vera leading up to this fight, or that he just can’t not accept defeat. Truth be told, O’Malley just doesn’t feel defeated.
“Ultimately I’m going to lose – I’m not afraid I won’t lose,” O’Malley told MMA Fighting on media day at UFC 260. “I do jiu-jitsu with really good people, I train me with very good people. I lose at the gym. Losing isn’t really a big deal. One of these days I’m going to lose a fight, and hopefully it won’t be due to an injury. It’s going to be how it ends and it will be fine.
“The way I lost that last fight wasn’t because he was a better fighter, [or] he was more skillful. How many leg kicks have been thrown from when this happened until now, and how many times has it happened where you dropped your foot? He didn’t shoot me. My leg gave way completely and I landed on my back. It happened like that, it is what it is, but it doesn’t affect me at all to go into this fight. In my mind, [I’m] 12-0 out of Eddie [Wineland] fight, and I’m in a good position. I am mentally in a very good position. I feel good. “
Because O’Malley was an overnight sensation after garnering so much attention by joining the UFC roster through Dana White’s Contender Series, whatever he says or does these days- this seems to end under a microscope.
When he entered the fight with Vera last year, O’Malley was already billed as a future title contender thanks to his previous performances and the confidence he has shown in calling for greater and better opposition from the bantamweight division.
The loss to Vera was obviously a setback, but her attitude towards the fight apparently rubbed some people the wrong way. O’Malley, however, promises that he’s only giving his honest opinion on the situation, whether you like it or not.
“Losing a fight for me is okay,” he explained. “I know I got a lot of criticism for dealing with my last loss, but that’s just because you ask me questions and I answer them.
“Are you asking me how I feel?” I am like I feel undefeated. Then you say ‘be yourself’ and I’m like OK, I feel undefeated. Then they’re like, “No, don’t be yourself, act like you can handle a loss. I’m not talking about you obviously, just people in general.
O’Malley’s outspoken demeanor, paired with his style inside the cage, has turned him into one of the most talked about fighters in the sport, but this level of popularity also gets a lot of attention. expectations.
However, none of this seems to bother O’Malley, as he avoids both praise and criticism while remaining focused on the real task at hand.
“The only time that comes to my mind is when you ask me this question,” O’Malley said. “I’m going, I’ve already put in the work. Whatever happens on Saturday night, it’s going to happen. So I let it flow. My expectations of what will happen, we’ll see. I intend to go there, take it out and win. If that doesn’t happen, I’ll live to fight another day. This is not the end of the world.
“I wasn’t really used to dealing with too much hate, but I also know people who do that, they probably deal with certain things mentally. There’s no one who does too well in life to talk about shit. It didn’t really affect me too much, but it would be nice to go out there and prove stupid people that they are stupid.