Sean O’Malley on Conor McGregor Feud: ‘He Realized His Mistake’

Sean O’Malley and Conor McGregor had a brief social media spat after McGregor lumped O’Malley with boxer Ryan Garcia over a doping incident, but despite not having spoken since, O’Malley remains a fan and is open to a potential future fight.

Sean O’Malley wasn’t trying to beef with Conor McGregor. But as the old saying goes – work until your idols become your rivals.

Back in May, McGregor unleashed a tirade on social media. He blasted boxer Ryan Garcia after he tested positive for the banned substance ostarine following an impressive win over Devin Haney.

In the same message, O’Malley got caught with a stray. McGregor decided to pair him alongside Garcia because the now UFC bantamweight champion also tested positive for the same substance in 2019.

A few weeks later, McGregor walked back some of those comments during a live stream. He said, “I like Sean O’Malley,” explaining he “kind of got caught in the crosshairs” when spouting off about Garcia’s situation.

Despite saying he hashed things out with McGregor privately, O’Malley still hasn’t spoken to the former two-division UFC champion. But he remains a fan — even if they may be at odds with each other right now.

“I jokingly on my podcast said we talked, we’re good,” O’Malley told MMA Fighting. “I haven’t talked to him since.”

“I’ll forever be a massive Conor fan. The biggest fan, watched his career play out, watched every single interview possible. I learned a ton from him. He’s a legend. That’s it. It is what it is.”

O’Malley believes McGregor actually regretted his unprovoked attack on social media. That’s why the message on Twitter was eventually deleted.

As much as McGregor attempted to justify his comments because O’Malley just so happened to test positive for the same substance as Garcia, there really was no reason to point the finger at him. Outside of that being the highest-profile athlete available at the time.

For his part, O’Malley isn’t wasting much time worrying about what McGregor had to say about him. But he’s also not holding onto some sort of grudge.

“I tried [to hate him]. I was like f*ck Conor, but it is what it is,” O’Malley said. “I think he realized what he said was stupid. I don’t know why he tried putting me and Ryan Garcia in the same category, saying Ryan Garcia missed weight and it made him mad about me. It just didn’t make sense.”

“I think he kind of realized what he said was stupid and then just backed himself into a corner.”

When he initially reacted to McGregor’s insults, O’Malley turned his back on the Irish superstar. He suddenly decided that he would root for Michael Chandler to “absolutely sleep him” when they clash at UFC 303.

Even though they haven’t spoken and it’s tough to tell if those fences will eventually get mended, O’Malley admits it would be hard for him not to back McGregor. Especially when he returns to action for the first time in three years.

“We’ll see [who wins],” O’Malley said. “It’s hard for me not to [root for him], if Conor goes out there, and knocks him out, it would be wild. It would just build another big Conor fight and the more Conor fights, the better.”

As far as potentially settling their difference in the octagon, McGregor scoffed at O’Malley’s suggestion that he would win a fight between them. He said that’s not possible “in his wildest dreams.”

O’Malley isn’t walking back that prediction. Even if he still appreciates the influence that McGregor had on his career, he’s certainly not opposed to eventually setting up that showdown in the UFC.

“I wouldn’t turn down a Conor fight,” O’Malley said.

First things first, McGregor has to make his return at UFC 303. O’Malley has his own business to handle with a title fight expected against Merab Dvalishvili later this year. But perhaps this really does set the stage for an eventual fight between them.


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