Sean O’Malley Explains Why Trash-Talk Is Key To Making Money Fighting In UFC

Sean O'Malley
Credit: Craig Kidwell-USA TODAY Sports

UFC champion Sean O’Malley understands the concept to making money as a fighter.

Now, he hopes his future opponents follow suit.

O’Malley is expected to defend his bantamweight title against Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 306 in September.

Read more: Scrap Report: Sean O’Malley Being The New Face Of The UFC, Is Dustin Poirier A Top 3 Lightweight Ever, and Early UFC 300 Preview

“Merab’s on like a 10-fight winning streak,” O’Malley said (thanks to MMAMania.com for the quotes). “One of the most boring guys in UFC history and he’s finally kind of changing it up. Merab’s doing a good job.

“Merab’s genuinely kind of a goofball. I think he’s being like himself and that’s why it’s working. I don’t think he’s forcing it.”

Why is that important to O’Malley? Because of the money that comes from fighting.

For his UFC 292 win over Aljamain Sterling, O’Malley made $500,000 flat according to commission reports.

“I paid more in taxes than I made in my fight,” he said. “I made a lot of money fighting but I made triple from social media. Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter. All these different social media.

“I made triple the amount I made fighting. I made a lot of money fighting. It just depends what these guys’ goals are.”

O’Malley earned a title defense in March over Marlon Vera at UFC 299.

Sean O’Malley One Of UFC’s Bright Stars

At just 29 years old, O’Malley is a key piece of the future for the UFC.

He has not lost since 2020, avenging that defeat with this decision over Vera. Each of his last 11 fights have come on a numbered UFC event, earning nine fight-night bonuses along the way.

Related: Booking UFC 299 Main Card Winners Including Sean O’Malley

For O’Malley, though, becoming a steady draw will depend on his opponents making better use of the spotlight. Finding new stars and challengers is key, and some of that pressure will be on the champion.

What the UFC 306 buys show will be interesting to watch.

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