‘Suga’ is ready to go against the elite grapplers of the UFC bantamweight division.
Sean O’Malley is prepared to test himself against Merab Dvalishvili.
As he awaits his ‘guaranteed’ championship opportunity against the winner of Aljamain Sterling vs. Henry Cejudo, O’Malley is spending his time ‘literally just grappling’ in preparation for either fighter. So far, ’Suga’ says he has greatly improved in that area, which is why he is ‘excited’ about fights with Sterling, Cejudo and Dvalishvili.
Though he was warned to stay away from the ‘Machine,’ O’Malley sees him as a potential opponent in the near future.
“What gets me excited about that Merab fight for me is when I fought Petr [Yan], it was — I loved seeing people say I’m going to get smoked, that I ain’t got no shot, that I ain’t go no chance,” said O’Malley on his official YouTube channel. “This is against Petr, a scary killer. It’s funny too, like Merab, Aljo, Henry, top three guys in the division right now are three of the best grapplers in all the divisions. I just have been grappling so much. I’ve been working on it so much that it’s just exciting.
“Four years ago, I would’ve been like, ‘F—k, I’m not ready for these motherf—kers’,” continued O’Malley. “But I’ve literally been grinding so much on grappling, and just learning, just fighting, that it excites me now. It’s like I can’t wait to prove motherf—kers wrong.”
Dvalishvili was previously in action at UFC Las Vegas, where he dominated Petr Yan en route to a unanimous decision. Now the new No. 1 contender, the Serra-Longo Fight Team staple said he wanted to ‘stay busy,’ so he would accept a fight against anybody in the division.
Among his options was the winner of Marlon Vera vs. Cory Sandhagen, but if O’Malley is serious, Dvalishvili could add him to his list of opponents.
About the author: Kristen King is a writer for Bloody Elbow. She has covered combat sports since 2016. (full bio)