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Topuria is the next Cody Garbrandt, Sean O Malley hits out at Ilia Topuria

LockerRoom Team
Calendar Icon10 July 2024

Ilia Topuria has ascended to superstardom since winning the UFC featherweight title. Similarly, bantamweight champion Sean O'Malley has achieved significant fame, with his rise to prominence occurring even before he claimed his division's top spot.

O'Malley, known for his polarizing presence in the MMA community, has a knack for stirring public interest, whether through praise or criticism. The 29-year-old champion began his title reign with a rematch against Marlon Vera at UFC 299 this past May, securing victory through an impressive unanimous decision. Leading up to the fight, O'Malley frequently expressed interest in a champion vs. champion bout with Topuria, who had not yet secured his title. Topuria, known as "El Matador," fulfilled his championship aspirations by knocking out Alexander Volkanovski one month before O'Malley's defense against Vera.

Since then, O'Malley has largely refrained from discussing Topuria. However, following the recent UFC pound-for-pound ranking update, which placed Topuria at No. 5, one spot above him, O'Malley voiced his frustration.

“How the fck is Ilia above me on the pound-for-pound?” O’Malley questioned on his YouTube channel. “He’s five inches shorter and has fewer title defenses. Those are just facts. I wasn’t trying to be funny [on Twitter], I was stating facts and I got a lot of hate for it. They’re like, ‘He should be, he beat ‘Volk.’ Buddy, I really could give a fck less where I’m at on the pound-for-pound [list].”

While the next title defenses for both champions have not been officially announced, O'Malley and Topuria are expected to face formidable opponents in Merab Dvalishvili and Max Holloway, respectively. O'Malley has no update on his potential bout but hopes it will take place at Noche UFC in September.

Meanwhile, Topuria and Holloway are still in negotiations for their anticipated fight, recently exchanging remarks on Twitter. Should the fight materialize as fans hope, O'Malley predicts that Holloway, the BMF champion, will begin his second reign as featherweight titleholder.

ALSO READ | You are a coward: Ilia Topuria hits out at Conor McGregor

“Ilia’s gonna be the next Cody Garbrandt,” O’Malley commented. “He won his nice little fight he had, his little Dominick Cruz performance — he’s about to get pieced up by Max Holloway and then go downhill from there. Not really. I feel like Ilia is one of the most skilled guys actually in the UFC, but f*ck Ilia.”

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