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Morning Report: Dana White says Sean O’Malley is not Khamzat Chimaev: ‘He’s not ready’ for ranked opponents

Since entering the UFC from the Contender Series in 2017, Sean O’Malley has become one of the most talked about names in MMA. But, as with all ascending stars, O’Malley has many detractors among MMA fans and the biggest criticism of “Suga” by far is his willingness to take on unranked opposition. Earlier this year, O’Malley caught flak for saying that he doesn’t care about facing higher-ranked fighters because he gets paid the same when discussing his choice to face the then-unsigned fighter Kris Moutinho as a short-notice replacement opponent instead of the more highly regarded Ricky Simon.

This narrative of O’Malley courting “easier” opponents continues this weekend as, despite his public feuding with the likes of Cody Garbrandt and Dominick Cruz, O’Malley will take on Raulian Paiva on the main card of UFC 269. Paiva was 2-2 in the UFC as a flyweight before moving up to bantamweight in his last contest and squeaking out a majority decision over Kyler Phillips. It’s a fight that is by no means bad but one that falls a bit flat given the bigger names that have circled O’Malley, something even O’Malley seems to recognize as during the pre-fight Press Conference, “Suga” spent much of the time in a back-and-forth with Garbrandt, nearly coming to blows at one point. So given all this, fans are once again asking what is going on with one of the hottest prospects in the sport. Luckily, UFC President Dana White has an answer.

“He’s not ready,” White told Barstool Sports. “You guys wanna throw him to the wolves. You don’t move somebody that fast unless they’re Khamzat Chimaev. Khamzat is a guy you’ll feel comfortable moving that fast. I mean, O’Malley just lost a couple of fights ago to (Marlon Vera). So, talking about bigger fights and all that sh*t, this is a tough fight for him on Saturday night. In his last fight, he looked incredible, he put on a clinic. I think because O’Malley’s so popular and whatever, you’re always gonna have the critics that give this kid sh*t.”

Critiques of O’Malley don’t stem from nothing, though. O’Malley’s has not handled his lone loss in the UFC well (a TKO at the hands of Marlon Vera, blaming the result on injury and dismissing “Chito” as a fighter. On top of that, O’Malley has also taken to calling himself “the unranked champ” at 135 pounds, something that rubs people the wrong way as O’Malley continues to court fights against unranked opposition like Adrian Yanez. But for White, O’Malley is doing everything exactly how he should.

“He’s a tough kid, he’s fun, he’s exciting to watch,” White said. “But he’s making his way the way you’re supposed to. You don’t just turn O’Malley around and throw him in there against killers. That’s not how it works.”

O’Malley and Paiva open up the UFC 269 main card tomorrow night at the T-Mobile Arena ins Las Vegas.


Workplace dispute. Daniel Cormier confronts Dominick Cruz over commentary criticism: ‘It was wrong of you to say what you said’.

Promotion. Cody Garbrandt, Sean O’Malley have to be separated after heated exchange during UFC 269 presser.

Brawl. Mike Perry leaves broadcast table, brawls with Julian Lane at BKFC Tampa.

Bounty. Tyron Woodley reacts to $500k bonus to knockout Jake Paul: ‘Don’t put a bounty on your own f*cking head and think I’m not going to take it’.

Fight. Aspen Ladd says she’s agreed to fight Miesha Tate for bantamweight return: ‘It’s on her’.


Between the Links.

UFC 269 Press Conference Highlights.

Embedded.

Top Finishes from UFC 269 Fighters.

Big John’s 10 favorite Bellator fights from 2021.

Top-10 Knockouts from the PFL Season.

Daniel Cormier golfs with Justin Gaethje. Also, Gaethje rocking iron sleeves is making me question everything about him.


We Got Next. Interviews with Danny Sabatello and Vince Morales.

Heavy Hands. Discussing UFC 269 and the legendary Jose Aldo.


Adorable.

Henry Cejudo.

Flyweights.

Fashion.

Din got me with this one.


N/A.


Thanks for reading, enjoy the fights, and see y’all next week.


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If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.




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