Urijah Faber believes that Sean O’Malley becoming the UFC bantamweight champion is positive for the division and that he had faith in O’Malley’s abilities all along.
Urijah Faber is a strong believer that Sean O’Malley becoming the UFC bantamweight champion is a positive development for the division. O’Malley achieved this title by defeating Aljamain Sterling at UFC 292 in Boston with a second-round TKO win. Despite concerns from many people regarding O’Malley’s abilities compared to Sterling, Faber always had faith in O’Malley’s potential to win the UFC title. Faber stated, “It’s a great lift to the division. We need stars in there and he’s the star right now.”
O’Malley’s road to the championship began after he won a split decision against former champ Petr Yan at UFC 280 in October 2022. Sterling was aiming to make history by becoming the first bantamweight to successfully defend the title four times in a row. However, the vibes during the fight week in Boston indicated that O’Malley was determined to emerge victorious. Faber explained, “I didn’t necessarily see him getting past Petr Yan, initially, and that was still a close fight, could’ve gone either way. And I knew that there’s only really one way for Aljamain to win that fight, and that he was in the danger zone until that happened. So I wasn’t that surprised [that O’Malley won].”
Faber also highlighted O’Malley’s exceptional skill set, calling him a “real fighter” and emphasizing his precision and coordination. Despite his suspension, O’Malley’s victory over high-level wrestler and jiu-jitsu player Takanori Gomi at Quintet Ultra also showcased his capabilities. Faber added, “He’s a pinpoint puncher, he’s super coordinated for being long and lanky. That’s rare.” Ultimately, Faber believes that O’Malley’s success is a result of a combination of his talent and the alignment of favorable circumstances.