The UFC has been working on finding the next opponent for “The Suga Show.” Sean O’Malley (14-1) is currently sitting on the sidelines waiting for the promotion to finalize his next opponent so he can get back into the octagon.
Originally, the UFC was targeting O’Malley against Frankie Edgar at UFC 268 in November. However, due to some scheduling conflicts, O’Malley turned down the fight with the former lightweight champion.
Afterwards, there appeared to be some tension between O’Malley and the UFC. However, that tension has seemingly been resolved and now the promotion is focused on getting O’Malley booked.
The word is that the promotion is targeting UFC 269 for O’Malley’s return. The card is expected to be huge featuring three title fights and a number of other high-level fights. The UFC does tend to go all out for the end of the year PPV.
O’Malley’s addition to the card would just add another big name. With that being said, there’s been some rumblings surrounding O’Malley’s next opponent and the leading candidate posted on Twitter that O’Malley had accepted the fight.Â
Is the UFC booking O’Malley – Kelleher?
Brian Kelleher (23-12) took to Twitter to say that O’Malley had accepted a fight with him. While no confirmation occurred, the fight would take place at UFC 269 as mentioned above.
However, some recent back-and-forth has seemingly put a little water on the flames. O’Malley’s coach Tim Welch commented saying that Kelleher was already booked according to the UFC.
However, Kelleher has denied that he has a fight lined up. Now, it’s not out of practice for the UFC to have a potential fight lined up for someone before even offering it to him. This could be the case with Kelleher, however, it could be something different altogether.
Kelleher is not currently ranked in the top fifteen. That said, he’s one of the more entertaining bantamweights to watch and he’s gone 4-2 in his last six UFC fights. O’Malley has publicly stated that he doesn’t care if his next opponent is ranked because his pay doesn’t change.
While I personally would rather see O’Malley fight someone in the top fifteen, there’s no momentum with that right now. A lot is still up in the air, but it does appear that the UFC is moving in the direction of booking O’Malley against Brian Kelleher.