As a result, seven of O’Malley’s eight UFC fights have been featured on pay-per-view events, making him one of the most popular fighters on the roster with a 15-1 MMA record. On October 22 at UFC 280, he will face former champion Petr Yan in his greatest bout to date.
Even though he hasn’t yet been the main attraction at a UFC show, Sean O’Malley admires Conor McGregor (22-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC) for the impact he’s made on the sport. McGregor’s grudge match against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 was the most-watched UFC event ever, and he holds five of the top six spots for most pay-per-view buys in UFC history.
“I mean, it’s crazy to think any time Conor fights, that’s a million buys,” O’Malley said.
“That’s so legendary. That’s the sh*t I want. That’s what makes me so excited about fighting, and the career, and everything. It’s like, doing big pay-per-views, being a part of massive events – that’s so exciting.”
According to O’Malley, a rematch with Marlon Vera would be the bout that would launch his own massive pay-per-view figures. At UFC 252, ‘Chito’ delivered O’Malley his first and only octagon loss, a defeat from which O’Malley has struggled to recover. Vera kicked O’Malley in the leg, directly striking the peroneal nerve. This knocked him to the ground, where he received a flurry of strong ground and pound attacks.
Vera (22-7-1 MMA, 14-6 UFC) has gone 4-1 since defeating O’Malley, including a recent knockout victory over former champion Dominick Cruz at UFC on ESPN 41. If O’Malley is successful in winning the bantamweight championship, he plans to rematch Vera for the belt.
“Imagine I go out there, boom – beat Petr. Boom, beat whoever has the belt. Boom, me vs. ‘Chito’ rematch, pay-per-view. You’re telling me that doesn’t do good numbers? That is a big fight. That is a massive f*cking fight.”