The UFC men’s Bantamweight division is one of the most stacked on the entire roster. The rankings are loaded with top-notch contenders, veterans, hungry challengers, and popular fighters. As a result, there is a massive pecking order for the strap and 3rd ranked contender Cody Garbrandt who is a former champion, addressed the hype over the Sean O‘Malley comparisons.
In a chat with ESPN MMA’s Brett Okamoto, he said, “He smokes too much dope, you know what I mean? Gets too high, and goes on his rants. Good for him. That’s good man, he’s got a tough fight in front of him. Chito. Chito’s obviously not in the top 15. He’s not beaten anyone in the top 15.”
‘Sugar’ has claimed 2 wins this year, however, both of the impressive finishes have come against unranked opponents. As a result, O’Malley finds himself with a number next to his name for the first time in his career.
Due to this, he has attention on him. However, ‘No Love’ dismissed this completely. This is because, when he was as old as ‘Sugar’ he defeated Dominick Cruz at UFC 207 to claim the UFC Bantamweight Championship.
Garbrandt said, “He’s got some eyes on him, that’s fine he’s getting the hype, but he’s unproven in this sport, and he knows it. He’s never done it, he’s never. I’ve been the world champion, A lot of people want to compare. I was 25 years old, that guy’s 25 years old and fighting tuna cans straight up. Not fighting anyone top 15.”
Here, ‘No Love’ believes that he is a different fighter to the competitors around him. He said, “I’m different, I’m bred differently. I think my route to the title was a lot different than a lot of fighters inside the octagon. A lot of them handpicked the fighters and the fights they want.”
Here, he moved back to O’Malley who is continuing to fight unranked opponents despite having a ranking.
“I think he should be thankful that the UFC is giving him those quality of opponents and to build his brand to get some of those sponsors….you can’t knock him for that. But to call out he’s the champ and do all that stuff, he gets eyes on him.”
However, last week the 25-year-old rising star said that he is happy with the UFC not giving him a top opponent as it would limit who he could fight and restrict his activity. Furthermore, ‘Sugar’ promised that he could finish ‘No Love’ in the first 5 minutes if given the chance.
Garbrandt said the 14th ranked Bantamweight, has the performances to back up his hype. However, he will only think about him when the youngster manages to continue in the same vein against higher-ranked opponents.
“He goes out there and performs against these guys like he’s supposed to, but let’s be honest. He’s not doing that to a top 10 guy, top 15 guy, top 5 guy and until he’s able to do that, then we can start thinking about him.”
What do you make of Cody Garbrandt’s comments? How soon do you think the UFC will wait before booking Sean O’Malley to take on ranked contenders?
Sources: ESPN MMA- Twitter
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