Sean O’Malley returns to action tonight for the newest edition of the “Suga Show.” O’Malley is set to fight Marlon Vera in the co-main event for one of the most highly anticipated pay-per-view events of the year at UFC 252.
The young martial artist has quickly become one of the fastest rising stars in the UFC. O’ Malley first bursted into the scene at Dana Whites’ Contender Series with a devastating knockout against Alfred Khashakyan to earn his UFC contract.
O’Malley vs. Vera will be featured in the co-main event but if it were up to O’Malley he would remove the label of the co-main event.
“It’s hard to imagine a better scenario,” O’Malley told MMA Fighting about his co-headliner spot. “It’s almost too good to be true. Co-main event on a legendary card, Stipe vs. D.C. trilogy. I don’t even think we’re the co-main event. I think we’re the first main event, they’re the second main event and I’m super excited.
“It couldn’t be a better spot on a better card to go out there and showcase my skills. So I’m extremely excited.”
O’Malley is no stranger to the spotlight and feels the added pressure of calling his fights makes the fights more enjoyable.
“I don’t need to go out there and talk and say I’m going to knock these guys out, I’m going to do this, I’m going to do that. By me saying that adds to the so-called pressure in the anticipation of my next fight. So I’m definitely putting it on myself in a way. I could definitely go out there, not say anything, fight on a undercard like a lot of these guys and just get by and try to win fights but I enjoy talking. I speak my mind.
“If I think I’m going to go out there and knock you out, everyone knows I’m going to say that. It’s not just talk. I told everyone I was going to go out there and get a viral knockout on Eddie Wineland and I did. I told everyone I was going to go out there and knockout Jose Quinonez and I did. This is no different. I don’t know if pressure is the right word but I enjoy the anticipation and the hype for people either wanting to see me win or lose, it really doesn’t matter to me, as long as they’re watching that fight. I really enjoy all the feelings that come with building up a fight.”
He is excited about the opportunity to fight a former Ultimate Fighter: Latin America contestant but feels Vera doesn’t really want to fight him.
“It just so happens I was calling him out, UFC probably offered it to him and he’s not going to say no to an opportunity like this. But I don’t think he wants to fight me. I don’t know why he would want to. He’s going to try to take to take me down and he’s not going to be able to and I’m going to hit him on his chin over and over and over again. If he closes his eyes and imagines how this fight plays out, I don’t see how he sees it any other way than him getting knocked out.”
O’Malley knows if he keeps winning, one day he’ll be headlining pay-per-views o his own.
“These are big moments and I live for these big moments,” O’Malley said. “I feel like every fight’s the Super Bowl. Every fight’s a championship fight in my eyes. I just prepare as best I can and I think I’m getting it down pretty good.
“Everything, the weight, the training, the sparring, outside of camp and everything is just so dialed in, especially right now with back-to-back-to-back fight camps.”
O’Malley understands the level of competition in front of him, Vera will get all of his attention and then he’ll consider who is next.
“I definitely have to go out there and put Marlon away first and then kind of depending on the fashion of how I put him away,” O’Malley said when asked about what happens after UFC 252. “If I put him away the way I think I’m going to, a nasty knockout, put him face first into the canvas, I think I can pretty much ask for whoever I want but it just depends on how that fight plays out.
“I’m extremely focused and prepared, I have to fight Marlon for 15 minutes on Aug. 15 and I’m really not looking past that date.”