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Morning Report: Sean O’Malley squashes beef with Cody Garbrandt: ‘He’s a flyweight now’

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Sean O’Malley is moving on from his wish of facing Cody Garbrandt, and he holds nothing against the former bantamweight champion.

For the better part of the past year, O’Malley and Garbrandt have feuded over social media, with O’Malley repeatedly trying to bait Garbrandt into a fight, including calling out “No Love” after his stoppage victory over Kris Moutinho at UFC 260 in July. Ultimately, O’Malley’s attempts fell short and Garbrandt is set to make his flyweight debut against Kai Kara-France on the main card of UFC 269 next week, immediately following O’Malley’s own fight on that card against rising contender Raulian Paiva. But though the two will undoubtedly cross paths next week, O’Malley says that he anticipates smooth sailing for the event as he has put the feud behind him, given Garbrandt’s drop down to 125 pounds.

“He’s a flyweight now,” O’Malley told The Schmo. “There’s no beef. You can’t pick beef with someone below your weight class. That’s just not what you do, so there should be nothing there. He’s a flyweight now, I’m a bantamweight, so I think it should be nothing.”

Garbrandt is not the only former bantamweight champion at UFC 269 that O’Malley has beefed with in the past though. O’Malley has also engaged in a war of words with former two-time champion Dominick Cruz, who takes on the eighth-ranked Pedro Munhoz on the preliminary card of UFC 269. And while O’Malley is prepared to let bygones be bygones with Garbrandt, “Suga” was less kind when talking about Cruz and Munhoz.

“He messed up,” O’Malley said of Cruz. “I called out him and Pedro Munhoz and now they’re on the prelims. I guess it doesn’t really matter. They’re gonna get paid the same whether they’re on the main card or the prelims, I’m gonna get paid the same whether I’m opening up the main card or the prelims, so as far as making money, it doesn’t really matter but for your ego, that’s got to hurt. Being talked about as one of the best bantamweights ever and you’re on the prelims. I don’t even know if he’s headlining the prelims.

“Prelim Pedro vs. Dominick, it just makes sense down there. I haven’t talked to anybody that’s super excited for that fight. They’re both top-10 I’m pretty sure and me and Paiva aren’t even ranked and we’re opening up the main card, so I think it just goes to show I’m the unranked champ.”

While “unranked champ” might be a bridge too far, the UFC has certainly made no bones about believing that O’Malley is a future star for the promotion. Since joining the organization, five of his seven fights have been on the main card of a pay-per-view event. Should O’Malley get the job done against Paiva next weekend, a big fight against a big name like Cruz could be on the horizon. But if not, O’Malley already has his sights set on another fight against a man who called him out recently, rising contender Adrian Yanez.

“I thought Adrian Yanez had a good fight last fight,” O’Malley said. “I thought that would be a good matchup. I thought that was an impressive performance, I called him out, and he kind of accepted. He said that I want ranked opponents but I don’t know where he heard that from. I’ve called out ranked guys but I’ve never specifically said I want a ranked opponent. I’ve called out Dominick Cruz, Pedro Munhoz, Petr (Yan), Cody, I’ve called out ranked guys but I’m not really worried about getting a ranked opponent. I think Adrian Yanez would be a good matchup next. Obviously not counting out Paiva, gotta go out there and take care of him first, but I think regardless, Yanez is a next good fight. People want it.”

First though, O’Malley has to take care of business against Raulian Paiva at UFC 269. The former flyweight is 21-3 in his career and is coming off a victory over O’Malley’s teammate Kyler Phillips in his return to bantamweight earlier this year.

UFC 269 takes place next Saturday, Dec. 11 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.


TOP STORIES

Let go. UFC releases one-time interim lightweight title challenger Kevin Lee.

Lego. Brandon Moreno welcomes ‘best sponsor ever’ Deiveson Figueiredo, targets ‘fake people around him’.

Comeback. Jan Blachowicz teases possible Aleksandar Rakic fight, seeks to bounce back from ‘one of the worst’ nights of his life.

Goals. Sergio Pettis would like to follow brother Anthony Pettis, collect belts in two promotions.

Time. Prosecutors given additional time to file criminal complaint against Jon Jones following domestic violence arrest.


VIDEO STEW

UFC 269 Preview.

Top finishes of Rob Font.

Top finishes from Bellator 272 fighters.

Bryce Mitchell’s debut rap song.


LISTEN UP

Fighter vs. Writer. Anthony Smith discusses his next fight, the light heavyweight division, and his role as a UFC analyst.

UFC Unfiltered. Interviews with Beneil Dariush and Josh Emmett.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Khamzat Chimaev still on one.

And Tony Ferguson is not okay with it.

Michael Chandler is going to campaign hard for this one.

Contracts.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Bryan Barbarena (15-8) vs. Darian Weeks (5-0); UFC Vegas 44, Dec. 4.

Kai Asakura (18-3) vs. Kenta Takizawa (13-7); RIZIN 33, Dec. 31.

Hiromasa Ougikubo (23-5-2) vs. Naoki Inoue (15-2); RIZIN 33, Dec. 31.

Yuki Motoya (28-10) vs. Yuto Hokamura (14-10-2); RIZIN 33, Dec. 31.

Arman Tsarukyan (17-2) vs. Joel Alvarez (19-2); UFC Fight Night, Feb. 26.


FINAL THOUGHTS

It pains me to say this but Bryce Mitchell’s song isn’t terrible. He’s a damn sight better than Tyron Woodley as a rapper, at least.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

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