New UFC bantamweight champion Sean O’Malley says that potentially challenger Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera needs to calm down if he wants his title show.
Vera, who picked up a victory over Pedro Munhoz on the UFC 292 card where O’Malley won the title, has history with the new champ.
The two squared off in August of 2020 at UFC 252 with Vera walking away with a first-round TKO victory. It was the first and last loss of O’Malley’s MMA career.
So it stands to reason that he would be next in line for a shot at the belt.
But O’Malley says “not so fast.”
“The ‘Chito’ thing worked out nice. ‘Chito’ beat Pedro but ‘Chito,’ he just needs to f—— settle down a little bit,” O’Malley said on his TimboSugarShow podcast. “He’s like, ‘Sign, I’m ready to sign the contract. I’m f—— next in line.’ I’m like, ‘Chill, bud.’ I finished Pedro in two rounds. You went to a decision in a boring fight. The only reason — you wouldn’t get a title shot after that fight if it wasn’t for me. So you need to f—— settle down or I’ll pick Henry Cejudo and don’t think that I don’t have the power to f—— pick who I want to fight right now.
“You better f—— go on Twitter and say, ‘Daddy, will you fight me?’ And I’ll f—— think about it but you need to settle down, acting like you call the shot right now because I’ll f—— go box Gervonta [Davis], I’ll fight Henry, I’ll wait for Cory [Sandhagen], you need to f—— chill out with your ugly-a– outfits.”
Now, O’Malley’s response isn’t entirely accurate. Yes, his fight with Munhoz in July of 2022 was stopped in the second round. But the fight ended due to an eye poke and was ruled a no contest. Many believed Munhoz was winning the fight at the time.
Though Vera may have to wait in line either way. Merab Dvalishvili, who O’Malley didn’t name, appears to have the best claim to a title fight. That’s if Sterling moves up to featherweight.
Dvalishvili, who is Sterling’s teammate, has nine straight victories with names like former champs Petr Yan and Jose Aldo on his hit list.
O’Malley might want reconsider that Vera fight if Dvalishvili is, in fact, next in line.