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Morning Report: Sean O’Malley squashes beef with Sean Shelby: ‘I had that conversation and we’re good now’

Sean O’ Malley Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The Battle of the Two Seans is over.

Earlier this month, rising bantamweight star Sean O’Malley made headlines when he trashed UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby publicly, saying Shelby was “acting like a f*cking tool” with regard to booking his next fight. The disagreement boiled down to the UFC wanting to book O’Malley for their upcoming return to Madison Square Garden at UFC 268. Due to the high tax rates in New York, O’Malley said he preferred to wait for the organization to return to Las Vegas and while O’Malley still feels that way, he also says he and Shelby talked things out while in attendance for UFC 265 and they’re all good now.

“I said what I said on (my show),” O’Malley to The Schmo. “I got into some trouble. I had a conversation with Sean Shelby a couple days after, in person, in Houston at the fights. We’re good now. He didn’t like what I said, I didn’t like what he said. I feel like I’m in a position now where if you want me to fight in New York and I don’t want to fight in New York, I’m not gonna fight in New York. I’m in that position and I had that conversation and we’re good now.”

By passing on New York, O’Malley may have cost himself a big opportunity though. UFC 268 was officially announced over the weekend, and though it only has seven fights so far, it’s already one of the more stacked events in recent years with two title fights and a host of other marquee matchups, including a bantamweight fight between former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar and the man who handed O’Malley his only loss, Marlon Vera, and according to O’Malley, he was originally offered the fight against Edgar but once he passed, then it went to “Chito”.

“I got offered a fight in New York against Frankie and I said if Frankie wants to get whooped he can get whooped in Vegas in December, a month later,” O’Malley said. “They want Frankie to fight in New York so they gave him Chito (Marlon Vera). Getting the Suga Show against Frankie would’ve been a great fight for me but I’m not too worried about it.”

Having passed on a fight with Frankie Edgar, it’s unclear who the UFC might offer O’Malley next when he is ready to return. As one of the rising stars of the sport, fans are clamoring for O’Malley to take a jump up in competition and start climbing the rankings, with many suggesting a bout with former champion Dominick Cruz would be a good fight. But O’Malley says he’s not too worried about who he’ll face next.

“Who will it be? Dominick Cruz? Could be, I don’t know,” O’Malley said. “If he wants to fight in December in Vegas, I would love to dance with him. I don’t think it will be Dominick, I don’t think he’ll take that fight. I don’t think that’s a fight that he wants but if it is, then yeah that would probably be next. If not, I don’t know and to be honest, I don’t really care if it’s a top-10 guy, a top-15 guy, a bum off the street, I’m gonna get paid the same. Whoever I beat up, I’m getting paid the same. Don’t care.”

This is not the first time O’Malley has said he doesn’t care about who he faces. When he faced short-notice replacement Kris Moutinho at UFC 264, “Suga” caught a lot of flak from fans for passing on other, more established fighters to take on the debuting Moutinho, to which he responded that he gets paid the same amount, regardless of who he faces. That decision ultimately worked out for him as O’Malley turned in a sensational performance that earned him and Moutinho Fight of the Night honors. However, it also left O’Malley still recovering from a hand injury that means he’s probably not going to be ready to return to the cage until December anyway, even if the UFC did offer him something else.

“I haven’t been offered anything,” O’Malley said. “I just them, hey I want to fight in December and they’re pretty good about when I say when I want to fight. Obviously, in Vegas. No names right now. To be honest, I don’t want to accept any fight, I don’t want to be offered a fight until my hands are 100 percent. It’s mostly my right hand, it’s a little swollen, it still hurts.... So December 11 is still about 15 weeks so we should be good, but we’ll see.”


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The MMA Hour.

Dave Chappelle at Paul-Woodley.

Israel Adesanya watching Paul-Woodley.

Free fights.


Fighter and the Writer. Matt Brown discusses Paul-Woodley.

The Co-Main Event. Discussing Paul-Woodley, Giga Chikadze, and UFC 268.


Jake Paul.

Conor McGregor.


BJ Penn. Please, no.


Ariane Lipski (13-7) vs. Mandy Bohm (7-0, 1 NC); UFC Fight Night, Sep. 18.

Magomed Ankalaev (15-1) vs. Volkan Oezdemir (17-5); UFC 267, Oct. 30.

Amanda Nunes (21-4) vs. Julianna Pena (10-4); UFC 269, Dec. 11.


Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



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