‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley responds to comparisons with Conor McGregor as questions around his ability against wrestlers get louder
Akin to Conor McGregor early in his UFC career, Sean O’Malley has often been questioned regarding his ability to beat wrestlers inside the octagon. McGregor has gradually showcased improved wrestling and overall grappling skills over the years. And while ‘The Notorious’ struggled against all-time-great wrestlers like Khabib Nurmagomedov, he fared well against most others.
Speaking to ESPN MMA’s Brett Okamoto, ‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley indicated that just like McGregor’s case, people believed that he’d lose to a skilled wrestler. O’Malley is currently set to face BJJ black belt and bantamweight veteran Pedro Munhoz at UFC 276 on July 2nd.
The No. 13-ranked UFC bantamweight O’Malley explained that the No. 9-ranked Munhoz is a skilled wrestler and will likely try to grapple with him at UFC 276. However, he suggested that Munhoz’s wrestling isn’t as great as the divisional elite such as bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling and former two-division champion Henry Cejudo.
‘Sugar’ noted that he’s proven his mettle against wrestlers in the past, citing the example of his early UFC appearance in 2017 when he KO’d wrestler Alfred Khashakyan. Noting that he’s been training for a while and knows how to wrestle and grapple, O’Malley stated:
“Will I show it in this fight? It’s up to Pedro. Can he get me down? That’s the question. That’s the reason I haven’t shown my grappling in the UFC; it’s because no one’s taking me down. Will it be this fight? I don’t think so. I don’t think he’s gonna be able to. But if it does, you guys are gonna see what you wanna see, and that is that I can grapple.”
When asked to peel back the curtain on how good of a grappler he is, O’Malley said:
“I feel like it’s a little secret. I feel like it’s a fun little, it’s a secret weapon. We’ll see. Who knows?”
Watch O’Malley discuss the topic at 3:52 in the video below:
Sean O’Malley believes bulking up could adversely affect Conor McGregor against Jorge Masvidal
Conor McGregor is still recovering from the gruesome leg injury he suffered last July. The former UFC featherweight and lightweight champion is expected to return in February or March 2023. McGregor has noticeably bulked up and has lately been linked to a potential welterweight grudge match against Jorge Masvidal next.
On The Timbo Sugar Show podcast, Sean O’Malley recently discussed a potential McGregor-Masvidal matchup and opined that the extra bulk might hurt Conor McGregor’s performance. O’Malley said:
“I don’t know, I think definitely the new muscle he’s put on could affect him negatively, but we’ll see, there’s only one way to find out.”
Check out the podcast episode in the video below:
Edited by Genci Papraniku