UFC 269: Raulian Paiva Welcomes Hype and Media That O’Malley Brings

Las Vegas, NV — Bantamweight Raulian Paiva faces a colorful — both literally and figuratively — opponent at UFC 269 in Sean O’Malley.

In a way, facing O’Malley, who has proclaimed himself the “unranked champion” of late, is perhaps a better option than facing an opponent with a number next to their name. That’s something Paiva acknowledged during the UFC 269 media day earlier this week.

“He’s a fun guy, all this clown stuff that he does. Of course, myself and my managers, my team, thought that we could get a top 10 [opponent], but the name and the hype and the media, we really welcome that,” admitted Paiva. That’s because “at the end of the day, the people that follow him are going to get to see me, and perhaps take note of me.”

Despite O’Malley’s antics, Paiva does see good fighter — but not a threat.

“He’s got a lot of skill and he can be a threat and a good fighter against certain fighters. But with all due respect, I don’t see a threat,” Paiva stated when asked about O’Malley’s skill set. “I think that even though he has skills I have, he’s a young guy, he’s got a lot of energy, I’ve got more. And my match-up against his is even stronger, and I feel more comfortable about the abilities I have and my skills compared to his. So yes, great fighter, but I do think I come out on top on the tale of the tape.”

Speaking of antics, O’Malley sometimes has those on display during fights. He infamously mimed shooting a basketball during a recent bout.

“I know he does that stuff,” Paiva replied when asked about preparing for an opponent who can be so over-the-top during fights. Calling himself both very centered and very focused, Paiva added “that doesn’t bother me. Basically, we continue what we need to do, and worry about myself in that situation. So it’s not something that bothers me really.”

Watch the full UFC 269 media day scrum with Raulian Paiva above. The event takes place this Saturday, December 11 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. More coverage can be found below.