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Sean O’Malley says Cody Garbrandt fight ‘not happening,’ questions if callout due to ‘CTE’

Sean O’Malley
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Sean O’Malley wonders if prospective opponent Cody Garbrandt needs to get his head checked.

On his TimboSugarShow podcast, O’Malley — who recently entered MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings tied for the No. 14 spot at bantamweight — shot down a recent callout made by Garbrandt in which the former UFC champion said, “I really want to whoop [O’Malley’s] ass.”

O’Malley completely dismissed the matchup, citing Garbrandt’s recent string of knockout losses.

“Dude, Cody is not getting that fight,” O’Malley said. “When he said it, you could see it in his voice, it’s like (mumbles). But that fight’s not happening.”

“It doesn’t make sense for him to say that,” he continued. “You wonder if that’s CTE. He’s been knocked out five times in the last two years. … He was [the UFC champion]. That fight’s not happening, at least not next. He needs to—it just doesn’t make sense. It literally just doesn’t make sense. If you look at his record. No, that’s not next.”

Garbrandt and O’Malley are trending in opposite directions, with Garbrandt having lost five of his past six fights by knockout (including a disastrous flyweight debut against Kai Kara-France at UFC 269 last month) and O’Malley riding a three-fight streak of knockout victories.

Looking over Garbrandt’s recent record, O’Malley scoffed at the blemishes. Garbrandt has been knocked out by Kara-France, Pedro Munhoz, and twice by T.J. Dillashaw dating back to November 2017.

“You’re telling me that makes sense?” O’Malley said. “Knockout, knockout, knockout.”

Though Garbrandt remains a known commodity among the UFC and its fans, he is currently in limbo as it is unclear whether he will make another attempt to compete in the flyweight division or return to bantamweight. Following his loss to Kara-France, Garbrandt fell out of MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings into the section of fighters also receiving votes.

O’Malley just doesn’t see much upside in a fight with Garbrandt at this time.

“I go out there and knock out Cody, he’s [1-6 in his last seven],” O’Malley said. “I lose to Cody, I lose to someone who’s looked at as someone kind of who sucks now.”