Sean O’Malley and Cody Garbrandt have been taking shots at one another and many assumed a fight would be on the horizon. Yet, that is not the case according to UFC president, Dana White.
At UFC 250, O’Malley scored a highlight-reel first-round knockout over Eddie Wineland. Then, a few fights later, Cody Garbrandt had a beautiful walk-off knockout win over Raphael Assuncao. The two were then debating on who’s knockout was better. “Sugar” then said he’d fight Garbrandt but doubts that the former champ would accept the fight.
For Dana White, he says they are trying to build up O’Malley, especially after everything he’s been through.
“He’s one of the kids we’re focused on and have been since the Contender Series,” White said on The Schmozone podcast. “He had some issues that he had to deal with the last couple of years, which has been brutal, but it’s given him a chance to heal up, and here we are.”
Sean O’Malley is currently ranked 15th in the bantamweight division and many are wondering what is next for him. There are options like Marlon Vera or Merab Dvalishvili has called him out. Yet, he has said he wants to fight Garbrandt, which White is not a fan of.
The UFC president believes Sugar still needs a few more fights before he fights top-five guys like Garbrandt.
“The problem is, if you take a Sean O’ Malley, first of all, he has been off for a couple of years, he’s a young kid, he’s just coming in. Where does he go from here? You got to give this kid a few more fights before he gets to Cody Garbrandt,” White said. “I didn’t see the rankings yet but Cody Garbrandt has to be [up there]. If he fought and he beat Cody Garbrandt, he’d break into the top-five. Very few people in their careers will ever break into the top-five.”
Regardless, the hope for White is to have O’Malley back inside the Octagon soon.