Sean O’Malley thinks Conor McGregor is jealous of him, open to ‘legendary’ fight at lightweight

UFC bantamweight champion Sean O'Malley thinks Conor McGregor could be threatened by his growing star power.

McGregor (22-6 MMA, 10-4 UFC) is undeniably the biggest name in MMA history, and O’Malley (18-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) has never been hesitant to acknowledge that reality. In fact, O’Malley has repeatedly stated finding ways to try to follow in the Irishman’s lofty footsteps.

That’s why O’Malley was caught off guard when McGregor decided to include him in a social media rant asking for a lifetime ban on Ryan Garcia, who tested positive for traces of ostarine in his win over Devin Haney. O’Malley tested positive for the same banned substance in 2019, resulting in a six-month suspension by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

“To be honest, I kind of want to hate him,” O’Malley said on Bradley Martyn’s ‘Raw Talk.’ “I want to be like, ‘F*ck you,’ and I’ve tried to. I’ve said it. I even messaged him on Twitter. I said, ‘F*ck you,’ just to make me feel a little bit better. Cocaine’s a hell of a drug. He was probably shadow boxing in the bathroom at a club. And I get you say sh*t.

“I do think there was a lot of jealousy. People like that, that big of an ego, he sees what’s happening. He sees like – he’s starting to get pushed out. I’m starting to come up. It’s like, there’s no other reason for him to talk sh*t about me. I’ve never said anything but praised him. You know, I’ve looked up to him, so I want to try to hate him, but it’s hard. Conor, he is the man. He really is, but I don’t know. I really don’t feel any way about it. When I first saw it, I was like, ‘What the f*ck? Like, that’s crazy.’ But then I’m like, ‘God, I know he’s probably geeked out.’ You know, jealous. So, he wanted me to sign with their management company; I didn’t want to. So, he sees me blowing up. He deleted it real quick after. I’m sure either his team did or he’s like, ‘God, why did I do that?’ But I don’t know.”

McGregor returns after a nearly three-year layoff against Michael Chandler (23-8 MMA, 2-3 UFC) in the UFC 303 headliner on June 29 in Las Vegas, and O’Malley now said he hopes Chandler knocks him out.

If McGregor does win, though, O’Malley isn’t ruling out a future encounter – even if he has to move up two weight classes.

“He’s big nowadays,” O’Malley said. “I’m pretty realistic when it comes to big guys. I’m like, ‘OK, I’m a ‘35er. I stay in my lane, and I do my thing. I could go up to ‘45. I’d fight (Alexander Volkanovski), I’d fight Max (Holloway), I’d fight Ilia (Topuria), but I stay in my lane.

“Conor’s one of the only guys I would fight that I’m like, ‘That motherf*cker’s big.’ I would just fight him at ‘55. First of all, it’s a huge payday. Second of all, it’s Conor. That would be legendary. He’s one of the rare guys I would fight way out of my weight class.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 303.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie