O’Malley (16-1, 1 NC) jumped to the top of the 135-pound rankings after his split decision win over former champion Petr Yan at UFC 280 on October 22. “Suga” would like to fight again in the spring, but champion Aljamain Sterling recently indicated that he may not want to compete again until next summer.
“Aljo is saying he doesn’t want to fight until June, July. Me being the number one contender, I might be wanting to fight in March. There’s guys deserving of big fights in the division right now,” O’Malley said.
“The ‘Chito’ rematch is looming. I know that one is getting closer and closer, and that is a massive fight’ continued O’Malley. “Hopefully I’ll talk to the UFC here in the next week or so … I think once I sit down and talk to the UFC the division will have a lot more answers moving forward.”
Vera (20-7-1) holds a win over O’Malley. He handed O’Malley his only career loss at UFC 252 in August 2020. Vera stopped O’Malley in the first round after O’Malley suffered an injury. O’Malley pitched the idea for an interim title bout between he and Vera.
“I get it, Aljo cuts a lot of weight,” O’Malley said on his BROMALLEY show. “He’s probably already back up to 165,170, he’s probably like, ‘I don’t want to cut weight again in the next couple of months, I want to enjoy it.’ … He wants to wait eight months. I get it, I do, but say the No. 1 contender, ‘Suga’ Sean O’Malley is ready to go in March, and the next guy in line, in my opinion, should be ‘Chito’ Vera. He just beat Dominick Cruz, beat Frankie Edgar, beat some good guys.
“Why not have a little interim belt, and then the winner of the interim belt fight Aljo when he’s ready?”
“I can’t say anything until I talk to the UFC first, because ultimately, it’s not necessarily what I want, what Aljo wants — they have a plan. They know what they want to do.”