O’Malley eyes McGregor, open to weight change

UFC bantamweight champion Sean O’Malley is willing to do whatever it takes to land a fight with Conor McGregor in what could be one of the biggest fights in UFC history.

O’Malley appeared on Bradley Martyn’s “Raw Talk” podcast and revealed that he would move up from 135 pounds to 155 pounds to secure a fight with McGregor.

“He’s big nowadays,” O’Malley said of McGregor’s current weight.

A former two-division champion, McGregor will return to the Octagon at UFC 303 after a three-year hiatus to face Michael Chandler. The fight will be contested at a catchweight of 165 pounds.

“I’m pretty realistic when it comes to big guys,” O’Malley said. “I’m like, ‘OK, I’m a 135er. I stay in my lane, and I do my thing.’ I could go up to 145; I’d fight [Alexander Volkanovski], I’d fight Max [Holloway], I’d fight Ilia [Topuria], but I stay in my lane.”

But the idea of a fight with McGregor is tantalizing enough for O’Malley to swerve out of his lane.

“Conor’s one of the only guys I would fight that I’m like, ‘That motherf—er’s big,'” O’Malley said. “I would just fight him at 155. 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 no secret that O’Malley has idolized McGregor. But now that O’Malley’s popularity has skyrocketed to make him one of the UFC’s biggest attractions, the idea that his idol could become his rival is certainly tantalizing.

Not to mention that O’Malley believes McGregor has become jealous of him.

“To be honest, I kind of want to hate him,” O’Malley said, mentioning that he has sent McGregor messages in an attempt to draw his ire. “I do think there was a lot of jealousy. People like that, that big of an ego, he sees what’s happening. He sees he’s starting to get pushed out. I’m starting to come up.”

O’Malley was a target in a now-deleted McGregor rant on social media platform X, where the Irishman initially took aim at Ryan Garcia, who tested positive for traces of the banned substance ostarine in his win over Devin Haney. O’Malley tested positive for the same substance in 2019 and was suspended for six months by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

“There’s no other reason for him to talk s— about me,” O’Malley said. “I’ve never said anything but praised him. You know, I’ve looked up to him, so I want to try to hate him, but it’s hard.”

It might be some time before a potential O’Malley-McGregor fight could come to fruition. McGregor first has Chandler to deal with in June, while O’Malley will likely defend his bantamweight title against Merab Dvalishvili later this year.

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