Image source: Sean O'Malley Instagram (@sugaseanmma)
Despite being forced out of action for two-years, Sean O’Malley has picked right back up where he left off.
O’Malley was a highly touted prospect joining the UFC ranks from Dana White’s Contender Series and getting his shot in the UFC towards the end of 2017. After picking up two decision wins over Terrion Ware and Andre Soukhamthath, O’Malley faced back to back issues with over failed drug tests and was handed suspensions forcing him out for two years.
O’Malley finally returned to action in March at UFC 248, the last UFC event to be held with a live audience and knocked out Jose Quinonez in the first round. O’Malley scored another first-round finish with a highlight reel knockout over former interim title challenger and long-time veteran, Eddie Wineland.
Since that fight, many have been asking for a matchup between O’Malley and former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt, however, UFC President, Dana White, told The Schmozone podcast that he believes it may be a little too soon for the 25-year-old.
“The problem is, if you take a Sean O’Malley, first of all he has been off for a couple of years, he’s a young kid, he’s just coming in. Where does he go from there? You got to give this kid a few more fights before he gets to Cody Garbrandt.”
After confirming that Garbrandt had moved up to fifth position in the bantamweight rankings, White confirmed that it may be too big of a jump for O’Malley.
“If he fought and he beat Cody Garbrandt, he’d break into the top five and very few people in their careers will ever break into the top five.”