UFC bantamweight contender Marlon Vera explained why Sean O’Malley deserves the next title shot at 135lbs after beating Petr Yan at UFC 280.
In what was one of the most controversial MMA decisions thus far this year, O’Malley won a split decision over Yan as a huge underdog. Most media and fans had Yan winning the fight, but two of the three judges sided with O’Malley, leading to him picking up the biggest win of his career to date. The win was so big for O’Malley, because it pushed him up from No. 10 in the rankings all the way up to No. 1, and on the cusp of a title shot.
Speaking of bantamweight title shots, another fighter who is close to getting one is Marlon Vera, who is on a nice win streak right now against tough opponents. But as far as Vera is concerned, although he’d love the title shot himself, he actually thinks O’Malley deserves it. Speaking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Vera explained why he believes O’Malley should be the next one fighting for the belt at 135lbs, although he doesn’t know for sure if the UFC will give it to him due to the controversial nature of the decision.
“As a fight fan, anybody who beat the No. 1 contender should fight for the belt, right? That’s obvious. O’Malley, it doesn’t matter what ranking he is, he beat No. 1, he should fight for the belt. But, the whole everybody thinks that was a gifted decision, everybody thinks he got a pass on that one, that can probably hurt what the UFC will do with him,” O’Malley said. “It’s the same thing that happened with the Song Yadong fight. I got robbed, they gave me the O’Malley fight, then they gave me the [Jose] Aldo fight. I advanced after a loss. So O’Malley got the decision gifted, maybe they do the same thing, they probably hold him a little bit, make somebody else do it. But we’ll see. Again, that’s up Dana and the UFC. We’ll see what they want to do.”
We will see what the UFC ends up doing. Promotional president Dana White said after UFC 280 was over that he is considering booking UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling against Henry Cejudo next, but at this point, nothing is set in stone and we will just have to play the waiting game as far as the 135lbs title shot goes.
Do you agree with Marlon Vera that Sean O’Malley likely deserves the next title shot at 135lbs, but is unlikely to get it?
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