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Stamann (19-4-1 MMA, 5-3-1 UFC), who was honest in saying he was jealous of O’Malley’s treatment and run in the UFC, doesn’t think the rising star has what it takes to compete with the elite.
So why does he want to fight him? Stamann says it’s easy money.
“He openly said he doesn’t want to fight anyone in the top 15,” Stamann told MMA Junkie. “He was like, ‘I get paid the same way either way. Why would I want to fight someone that’s tougher?’ And honestly, when he said that, I actually had more respect for him because he was dancing around that question the whole time. In an athlete’s eyes – maybe not in the average, casual MMA fan’s eyes, but in an athlete’s eyes – it’s not really about how well you perform against a guy that’s ranked 100th in the world. It’s about how well you perform against the guys that are in the top 10.
“We saw Sean O’Malley fight (Marlon) ‘Chito’ Vera. He went down to leg kicks, and that kind of tells me that he’s not real. The hype surrounding him isn’t real, so it’s a win-win. I fight a guy like Sean O’Malley – I fought the champ, I fought the who’s-who, the guys that nobody wants to fight in MMA, the guys that are knocking people dead. So a fight against Sean O’Malley doesn’t scare me the same way fighting Urijah (Faber) or any of the guys I named would, any of the guys that I fought. I think Sean O’Malley would be one of the worst guys that I fought in my UFC career.”
While Stamann respects O’Malley’s argument that he gets paid the same to fight a former champion or a newcomer, he thinks there’s a little more to his theory.
“I think part of it is the money,” Stamann said. “I think he thinks he’s worth more, and maybe he is. The dude’s a draw. I said one thing about him on Instagram, and I got attacked by like 100 16-year-old kids. It was crazy. I never had that kind of action from that fanbase. So maybe it’s a money thing. But I think ultimately it comes down to he knows deep down that there are guys out there that will absolutely stomp him. In fights, you see guys crack. You see guys break. And I think he’s one of those guys that can be broken.
“He hasn’t taken the knocks that everybody else has to get where they are. You don’t know how you’re going to respond until it happens, and I saw him against ‘Chito’ Vera. I saw him against Andre Soukhamthath. As soon as something goes wrong in a fight, that kid just folds. For me, I know I can create a lot of problems for him. I can make things messy.”
O’Malley (14-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) is coming off a battering of tough newcomer Kris Moutinho at UFC 264. While it was another impressive performance, Stamann has a hard time lauding him for the level of competition he’s faced.
The former NCAA Division-II wrestler is currently on a two-fight losing skid and sees O’Malley as the perfect opportunity to get back to the win column in a big way.
“Honest to God, I’m picking the low-hanging fruit,” Stamann said. “I want an easy fight. I’ve fought nothing but hardened veterans in this sport since I started. I was in the top 10 six months after I signed my first UFC contract. My road has been tough. It’s been filled with animals, and his has been – he’s been on a bike going downhill his entire UFC career. He’s like a 10-1 favorite in almost every fight. So I want the easy fight. I think the easy fight is Sean O’Malley. I think that’s the biggest name, and I think it’s the easiest fight in the division.
“I’m probably going to get attacked again by a bunch of high schoolers, but it’s the truth. You ask me do I want to fight Sean O’Malley or do I want to fight Pedro Munhoz, there’s not even a comparison between those guys. You’re talking about a guy that you literally can’t break and you’re talking about a guy that went out on a stretcher because he got leg kicked. These are two different men inside their head. I think Sean O’Malley is just a boy, and I would love for the opportunity to expose him for what he is: a clown.”