UFC bantamweight contender Sean O’Malley has revealed his ambitions for the near future, which sees focus on a massive 12 months in 2023.
2021 was a big year for O’Malley. Heading into it, “Sugar’ was riding his first professional loss, a TKO defeat at the hands of Marlon “Chito” Vera at UFC 252 in August 2020. In the 17 months since that setback, O’Malley has built a three-fight win streak, recorded three finishes, earned three post-fight $50,000 bonuses, and entered the bantamweight rankings.
After rebounding at UFC 260 last March with a brutal third-round knockout against Thomas Almeida, O’Malley began another streak four months later by stopping promotional newcomer Kris Moutinho at UFC 264.
Closing out his successful and lucrative 2021, the 27-year-old knocked out formerly-ranked Brazilian Raulian Paiva at UFC 269 last month.
O’Malley Forecasts A Big Year
After a triumphant 2021 and securing his place at #12 on the 135-pound ladder, most have been eagerly anticipating O’Malley’s first appearance of what looked set to be a big 12 months for “Sugar.” However, due to a thumb injury and his desire to fight at a Las Vegas pay-per-view, O’Malley believes he could be on the sidelines until the summer.
With that lesser level of activity, which O’Malley believes could see him fight twice in 2022, the Montana native has targeted 2023 as his big year.
During a recent episode of his YouTube podcast, the rising bantamweight star outlined his goals for the next two years: two fights in 2022, then a lucrative new contract, and a “killing spree” at 135 pounds the following year.
“Ideally, I get three fights in a year. That’s kind of where my head’s at. I don’t know if it’s (because I want) more money, I think it’s competition. I love competing. But I just want to get back in the game and improve. So if I only get two–if I get one in July and November, December… I might only get two this year, fight out the contract, then boom: 2023, fat f**king contract and go on a killing spree.” (h/t Essentially Sports)
While O’Malley is targeting big things in 2023, there’s no doubt he can still accomplish a lot in two fights across the next 12 months. While his next opponent is seemingly far from being decided, O’Malley has consistently expressed his desire to face fellow surging striker Adrian Yanez.
What do you make of Sean O’Malley’s 2023 goals?