Morning Report: Sean O’Malley willing to move up to lightweight for ‘legendary’ Conor McGregor fight

Sean O’Malley wants the big fights.

UFC 299 was a great night for the “Sugar Show” this past March. In the evening’s main event, the 135-pound titleholder O’Malley avenged his loss to the only man to beat him in his MMA career, Marlon “Chito” Vera, when he pitched a shutout en route to a unanimous decision.

O’Malley, 29, is likely next to be challenged by clear top contender Merab Dvalishvili but continues to entertain other wild possibilities. Ahead of his recent victory, O’Malley teased a move up to try and become a dual-division champion by challenging undefeated 15-0 featherweight king Ilia Topuria. Other names on O’Malley’s target list included top boxers like Ryan Garcia and Gervonta Davis. Speaking of Garcia, just this past week, Conor McGregor was upset by the news of Garcia’s positive drug test, which led to a random shot at O’Malley. It’s now “idols to rivals” for the bantamweight champion, and the idea of a “Notorious” matchup would be impossible to turn down despite the size difference.

“He’s big nowadays,” O’Malley said of McGregor on Bradley Martyn’s Raw Talk. “I’m pretty realistic when it comes to big guys. I’m like, okay, I’m a ‘35er. I stay in my lane and I do my thing. I could go up to ‘45, I’d fight ‘Volk’ (Alexander Volkanovski), I’d fight Max [Holloway], I’d fight Ilia, but I stay in my lane.

“Conor’s one of the only guys I would fight that I’m like that motherf*cker’s big. I would just fight him at ‘55. First of all, it’s a huge payday, second of all, it’s Conor. That would be legendary. So, he’s one of the rare guys I would fight that are way out of my weight class.”

It’s been three years since McGregor last stepped foot inside the octagon and unfortunately left it on a stretcher after breaking his leg against Dustin Poirier. The former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion isn’t going to end his career there, though. McGregor, 36, returns against Michael Chandler in a welterweight affair at UFC 303 on June 29.

O’Malley vs. McGregor is a longshot with all things considered and even his hopeful dream matchup of facing Topuria has faded with Holloway in hot pursuit of “El Matador.” Ultimately, all options are difficult at this point for “Sugar.” However, he feels the boxers are the easier ones, but appreciates some of the antics, like those seen by Garcia before his recent majority decision over Devin Haney.

In terms of actual beef or issues with people, O’Malley says they’re behind him. It’s all fun and games with the current crop of names he’s poked and prodded at.

“Ilia’s a tough fight, Max is a tough fight, Merab’s a tough fight,” O’Malley said. “There’s literally — at this point in my career — there’s no easy fight except for Ryan Garcia.

“I enjoyed the build-up [to his last fight]. I thought he f*cking crushed it whether he’s crazy or faking it, I enjoyed it. It got me very interested in the fight. What he’s been tweeting and posting, how he’s been acting after, I’m there for it. The reason I like Conor so much is because he’s such a f*cking character. He’s such a different personality. Ryan’s doing that right now. I love it. I think it’s f*cking awesome.

“I can’t think of anyone that there’s actual beef,” he concluded. “Me and ‘Chito’ have beef but I 50-44’d him so it’s kind of hard to beat that. Gervonta Davis, the boxers I like talking sh*t to just because they’re so — they’re like, ‘Yeah, but I could box you.’ Yeah, but I can kill you, fast. It’s kind of fun talking [to them].”

Plans. Mike Perry unsure Darren Till fight happens, teases interest in Caleb Plant: ‘Bring it on, motherf*ckers

Prediction. Dan Hardy picks Conor McGregor to beat Michael Chandler: ‘He’s got that refinement in his game

Onward. Matt Brown shed a tear after telling UFC he was retiring: ‘A piece of you dies

Movement. MMA Pound-for-Pound Rankings: Jon Jones falls out of top 5

Champs. Alexandre Pantoja dreams of fight against flyweight ‘GOAT’ Demetrious Johnson

MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin chats with Matt Brown.

Sound & Pound.

UFC Connected: Sean Woodson.

Free fight.

RIZIN 46 Full fights.

From the archive.

GSP at Bangtao.

Heck of a Morning. MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck reacts to Cory Sandhagen vs. Umar Nurmagomedov booking, fallout of UFC 301.

Let’s have a metallic rave.

Go to Twitter, use the #MorningReport hashtag, or find one of my tweets with it, and drop me a jam you’re currently really into. I’ll pick the best one alongside my daily choice and give you a shoutout! You can also share in the comments below — those are just harder to sift through sometimes!

Poor guy.

DDP can do it all.


Locked in.

Nap time.

Revenge seeker.

Back at it.


I don’t know if “legendary” is the proper descriptor for that hypothetical matchup, but it would be absurd and interesting purely off of ridiculousness and where each currently is in their careers.

Thanks for reading!


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