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Sean O’Malley: Ilia Topuria irrelevant if he loses to Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 298

Sean O'Malley thinks a loss at UFC 298 would be detrimental to Ilia Topuria’s career.

Topuria (14-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) challenges featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski (26-3 MMA, 13-2 UFC) in Saturday’s headliner (pay-per-view, ESPN, ESPN+) at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

Bantamweight champion O’Malley (17-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) expressed interest in a superfight with Topuria, who dismissed him. O’Malley admires Topuria’s confidence, but thinks he put himself in a must-win situation after making numerous bold statements.

“Ilia – is he going to get the f*cking job done? Ilia vs. Volk,” O’Malley said on his TimboSugarShow. “He better hope he f*cking does, because he’s talking a lot of games. He’s talking a lot of sh*t. He’s got a documentary going coming out – he’s got a f*cking movie coming out. He’s calling out Conor McGregor. If he goes and loses to Volk, he’s irrelevant. I’m not going to be calling him out. He should thank me for talking about him.”

O’Malley’s coach, Tim Welch, predicted Volkanovski will win by decision, and O’Malley can see that happening. But “The Suga Show” hopes Topuria gets his hand raised to increase their chances of fighting.

“It’s hard to go against Volk, isn’t it?” O’Malley said. “I’m just going with Ilia because I’m going to keep manifesting that (Las Vegas) Sphere September fight.”

O’Malley runs things back with Marlon Vera for his first title defense in the UFC 299 headliner March 9 in Miami.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 298.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie