O’Malley (17-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) captured the bantamweight title by knocking out Aljamain Sterling at UFC 292 last month. When asked if he’d consider a move up to 145 pounds, O’Malley said yes – but preferably when UFC No. 2 ranked pound-for-pound fighter Volkanovski isn’t holding the belt.
Volkanovski (26-2 MMA, 13-1 UFC) has defended his title five times, most recently a TKO of Yair Rodriguez at UFC 290 in July. He took lightweight champion Islam Makhachev to the brink at UFC 284 but fell short in a close decision loss.
“I would love to (move up) when Alexander Volkanovski is not the champ,” O’Malley said on ThatWasEpic. “That motherf*cker is pound-for-pound best in the world right now.”
That doesn’t mean O’Malley doesn’t think he can beat Volkanovski. He’s open to a superfight down the line but doesn’t see Volkanovski remaining at featherweight for too long.
“I wouldn’t say that,” O’Malley clarified. “I mean, I’m confident I can knock anyone out. I feel like I can definitely knock Alexander Volkanovski out. It’d be fricking very, very difficult. But I mean, maybe in a year or two if he’s still there, I would do it. But I think he’s going to move up to 155, so it depends who’s champ.”