UFC bantamweight prospect Sean O’Malley believes he can emulate Israel Adesanya’s rise to stardom once he’s eligible to return to the Octagon.
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Adesanya debuted in the UFC in 2018 but in the space of seven fights has gone on to become not only the middleweight champion but possibly the promotion’s next mainstream star.
O’Malley — also undefeated — looked like another prospect who could break out.
However, he hasn’t competed since March 2018 because of a foot injury as well as drug test issues involving ostarine. He was set to compete at UFC 239 in July, but trace amounts of his previous failed test for ostarine were detected delaying his return once again.
Initially, he was expecting to return to action in December. But now, “Sugar” is hoping it takes place early next year.
“Realistically, I would say early next year,” O’Malley told The Schmo in a recent interview. “It’s got to. It has to happen early next year. Or else it’s a conspiracy. I don’t know, it has to happen early next year. I’m going crazy. It’s been too long. I need to fight.”
O’Malley is one of the most exciting as well as popular fighters in the UFC with fans itching to see him back. And he feels he will be able to truly take off once he’s back in action, similar to Adesanya.
“Once they let me fight, I really feel like I’m going to blast off,” he added. “I feel like Israel and I were on the same come up. Both 1-0, 2-0.
“Then he took off and my career just kind of went stale for a little bit. But once they let me fight, I really truly believe I’m going to take off and take over.”
Although he’s a fan of “The Last Stylebender” owing to their similar styles, O’Malley believes his MMA Lab teammate Jared Cannonier is more than capable of inflicting his first defeat should they meet for the title in the future.
“I’m a huge fan of Israel. I feel like our styles are pretty similar,” O’Malley explained. “That fight would be so fun to watch. They’re both animals. That would be a good fight and I think Jared could beat him.
“He’s shredded at that weight class. Perfect weight class for him, his gas tank’s unreal and the biggest thing about Jared is his mentality. He’s going to go in there and he’s going to do what he needs to do. He’s not going to be scared, nervous. He’s going to do what he needs to do.”