If there’s one rising prospect right now that compares favorably to UFC superstar Conor McGregor, it’s “Sugar” Sean O’Malley, and the 25-year-old American revealed recently that it’s just as great a distinction as you think it might be for the rising bantamweight star.
“Being compared to Conor, yeah, it’s great,” O’Malley told TMZ Sports. “It’s like being compared to Jon Jones, Muhammad Ali, those guys. It’s like, ‘F–k yeah,’ you can compare me!”
Like McGregor, O’Malley doesn’t just talk the talk. This guy walks the walk, too. He’s received performance bonuses for his last three fights, including his epic Performance of the Night bonus for his knockout of Eddie Wineland at UFC 250.
The stunning walk-off victory earned O’Malley a new ranking. He’s currently the 15th-ranked bantamweight in one of the best and deepest divisions the UFC has to offer.
“I take that as a compliment, getting compared to Conor,” O’Malley said.
The best part? O’Malley already thinks he’s better than McGregor at what the Irishman does best.
“As far as the skill set wise, I think I have more skills when it comes to the striking,” O’Malley said.
O’Malley Compares McGregor’s Game to His
O’Malley explained why he believes that to be the case. In short, the American said he has more tools than McGregor overall.
“I can stand southpaw and throw anything the same as I can stand orthodox and throw anything,” O’Malley said. “I’m very, very dangerous from every position.”
That isn’t true for McGregor, who relies heavily on his left hand.
“He’s mainly a southpaw with a bomb left hand and he throws left heaves and some decent spinning stuff,” O’Malley said. “I feel like I have more tools in the toolbox than anybody in the MMA as far as coming up with striking.”
But the rising star also revealed the one way he doesn’t want to compare to McGregor.
“I don’t wanna be compared to him as I’m on TMZ going to jail,” O’Malley said. “I’m gonna try to avoid those situations as much as I can.”
McGregor has created his fair share of negative press over the years with various run-ins with the law.
O’Malley wants to steer clear of those types of issues.
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O’Malley’s Been Super Busy Since Return to UFC
Moreover, O’Malley seems to want to stay as active as humanly possible right now.
The fighter just returned to the UFC after a two-year absence from the sport and he’s already scored two first-round knockouts in just three months.
A popular and rising star in the sport, O’Malley lost some momentum just as it seemed he was on the verge of stardom.
First, the fighter required surgery on his foot and hip.
Next, he went through a prolonged saga with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency over testing irregularities involving trace amounts of a banned substance.
But now O’Malley is right back in the thick of things, and the hard-hitting striker with smooth moves and giant aspirations already seems to be on his way to making quite the name for himself.
And who knows?
To hear O’Malley talk on the matter, someday up-and-coming stars will be compared to him the way he’s been compared to McGregor.
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