London, U.K. – A UFC return to Scotland is on the mind of flyweight Casey O’Neill, but first she must get through Jennifer Maia at UFC 286 on Saturday night in London.
“I would love to fight in Scotland. I’d love to be high on that card, if not bring it to Scotland, so I’ve just got to keep winning and hopefully they’ll take it there,” O’Neill told reporters including Cageside Press on Wednesday.
“(Headlining) that’s definitely bucket list type of stuff. I’ve just got to keep working and hopefully that’s in the future.”
For now she gets to fight in the U.K. for the first time in her career.
“I asked to be on this card. I was super hopeful that they would put me on after watching the first two London cards, and being at home I knew that this was something that I wanted. It’s my first ever fight on U.K. soil and I’m once again really excited that it is such high stakes,” she said.
“Glad that I’m here.”
O’Neill (9-0) is making her return since a torn ACL injury she suffered which forced her to withdraw from UFC 276.
“It was hard at the start obviously. Never been injured like that before. Never been out for that long, but I just took it as a learning opportunity and rehabbed as hard as I could. I’m back a lot faster than anybody said I would be so I think that just proves who I am as a person, and what I’m willing to go through to be here, and to be able to fight,” O’Neill said.
At UFC 286 O’Neill takes on Maia who is ranked and recently fought for the title.
“I asked for this fight. I thought it would be a great fight for me. Before I got injured obviously I was going to fight Jessica Eye who was a former title challenger who had fought for the belt. I felt that was a good next step for me so Jennifer Maia was a good opponent,” she said.
O’Neill got to watch flyweight champion Alexa Grasso take the belt from Valentina Shevchenko and sees it as a positive thing for the division.
“I thought it was very exciting. I’m happy for Alexa, she’s a super nice person, and that was a super awesome win the way that she finished her,” she said.
“It just makes the division more exciting, more eyes on the division, and the rematch is going to be awesome.”
Watch the entire media day scrum with Casey O’Neill above. She takes on Jennifer Maia at UFC 286 at The O2 on Saturday night in London.