Sean O’Malley Eyes Topuria, Dvalishvili After UFC 299: “It’s Nice Having Options”

Miami, FL — Sean O’Malley is not only looking ahead, but looking up for his next fight after settling the score with Marlon “Chito” Vera at UFC 299.

After a five-round dismantling of Chito, who represented the lone loss on O’Malley’s record, the bantamweight champ called out Ilia Topuria in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. Of course, the general consensus is that Merab Dvalishvili should be next at 135lbs, though the “Suga Show” could put that fight off by targeting a second title at featherweight.

“It’s nice having options,” O’Malley (17-1, 1NC) told media outlets including Cageside Press during Saturday’s post-fight press conference. “It’s hard to make a decision right after the fight. We’ll see how it plays out, talk to the UFC, talk to Hunter [Campbell], Dana [White], and we’ll see what happens.”

The allure of a move up is simple. “Moving up to 45, that’s champ versus champ, automatically it’s huge. [Topuria] just knocked out Alexander Volkanovski, that’s massive. It’s just an exciting fight, I’m here for massive fights, and that’s what I want to be a part of. If that’s it, sweet, if Merab’s it, sweet. I like having options.”

One stumbling block could be Pay-Per-View points. When asked if Topuria was O’Malley’s preference over Merab, he pointed out that he might have to work something out with the UFC on that front. “Technically I’m not defending a belt, so I don’t know about Pay-Per-View. I would have to talk to the UFC, I don’t think that would be an issue. I’ve always been able to work something out with the UFC.”

Asked how a fight with Ilia Topuria, himself more than capable of knocking out opponents, plays out, O’Malley opined that “I think a fight with anybody I win by knockout. Obviously I didn’t knock Chito out, but I don’t lose confidence from that, Chito’s so tough. But yeah, I believe I could put Ilia’s lights out.”

Watch the full UFC 299 post-fight press conference with Sean O’Malley above.