‘I Would Be Upset!’ Topuria ‘Too Short’ To Headline Over O’Malley

Sean O’Malley doesn’t like the sound of playing second fiddle to Ilia Topuria.

Ideally, the reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight champion, O’Malley, has hoped for an eventual clash with his fellow titleholder at Featherweight, Topuria. Until that can happen, they’ll each have to get through some top contenders.

O’Malley, 29, will likely next defend his 135-pound crown opposite the surging Georgian, Merab Dvalishvili. With no dates locked in, O’Malley recently pondered possibly competing on another stacked card like his last time out at UFC 299 in March 2024. However, what if he didn’t headline it? “Sugar’s” return timing could align with Topuria’s for his expected next clash against Max Holloway. Depending on the business dealings of such an event, O’Malley wouldn’t be too fond of the concept.

“I’m hoping they do a crazy card like they did in Miami and put me on the main event, get that pay-per-view [points], boy,” O’Malley said on his TimboSugar Show podcast. “I’m trying to think who I would co-main with. Ilia? Yeah. (Sighs) I would be upset. He’s too short.

“If he was taller than me, I’d say that’s fine, but the fact that he’s 5’4” main eventing over me would piss me off,” he continued. “I’d be fine with it if I got pay-per-view. I don’t know if they’d do Max vs. Ilia, me vs. Merab. ‘Cause I’m wondering if Max is gonna get pay-per-view next fight. Not [just] for the BMF, but also because he’s that big of a star. There’s zero perfect chance UFC pays me, Ilia, and Max pay-per-view. So, I don’t think that’s it.”

No matter who is next for Topuria, it will be his first title defense as a champion. O’Malley, on the other hand, successfully defended his title for the first time at the aforementioned UFC 299 event when he won a unanimous decision in his rematch against Marlon “Chito” Vera (watch highlights).

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