Add Sean O’Malley (14-1) to the list of fighters that have vocally expressed frustrations with the UFC. The budding star appeared on his podcast recently where he talked about declining a fight offer from the UFC.
The promotion apparently wanted O’Malley to appear on their November PPV which is scheduled to take place at Madison Square Garden. Whenever the UFC goes to MSG, they usually try to have a massive card for the event.
UFC 268, scheduled for November 6th, is supposed to take place at MSG. The promotion offered O’Malley a fight on the card, but due to a number of different circumstances, O’Malley had to turn down that specific date. One of the main reason’s was that his coach had a prior engagement.
O’Malley said things took a turn when he declined the date. He elaborated by saying, “Dude, I donâ€™t wanna fight in New York. Itâ€™s far, the taxes are ridiculous, and Tim (O’Malley’s coach) has no-Gi ADCC trials that weekend. He told me that before I even potentially had a fight. So, thatâ€™s his thing and Iâ€™m not gonna say, â€˜No. I have a fight, weâ€™re doing it.â€™ Especially when I could fight like a month later in Vegas.” (Transcription from MMA Fighting)
Issues with UFC matchmakers
O’Mally said that UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby didn’t love the fact that he turned it down. He continued, “And Sean Shelby was just like, mad and like, â€˜Fine. Go hang out with 6ix9ineâ€™. Just acting like a f*cking tool, dude. I donâ€™t know if I shouldâ€™ve said that or not. But itâ€™s like, dude, come on.”
O’Malley continued, “Donâ€™t treat me like that. Like, act like Iâ€™m not training or nothing. â€˜Go, youâ€™re hanging out with 6ix9ine, dudeâ€™. Like, Iâ€™m hung out with him once. Well, three days. But yeah, so, itâ€™s like, cool, dude. Treat me like a piece of sh*t. No, itâ€™s like, dude, I would rather not deal with him at all and just deal with Dana.â€
It’s widely known that the bigger UFC stars deal directly with either Dana White or Hunter Campbell. The mid-tier fighters usually only deal with the UFC matchmakers and it appears that O’Malley was still dealing with Sean Shelby.
O’Malley has superstar potential for the UFC and my guess is that he’s going to end up coming out just fine from this. With his social media presence and connection to big stars, the promotion would be wise to get behind the rising bantamweight contender.
Ultimately, this situation will iron itself out and the promotion will likely get O’Malley on the books for a December PPV. However, this is just another instance of a top UFC fighter being vocally frustrated with the promotion