Sean O’Malley says he’s only using UFC to sell merch including £164 vest

Sean O'Malley has admitted to using the UFC as a means to sell merchandise following a change in perspective that has left him feeling more satisfied than ever before.

Nicknamed Suga, O'Malley is one of the most recognisable fighters inside the promotion despite never fighting for a title thanks to his eye-catching fashion and hairstyles as well as highlight reel finishes in the Octagon.

After his last bout against Pedro Munhoz ended in a no-contest following an accidental eye poke, the 27-year-old has now booked a huge step up in opposition in the form of former bantamweight champion Petr Yan.

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Speaking ahead of his bout against Yan, who is ranked #1 in the division, O'Malley opened up on his popularity within the sport and how he is benefiting financially.

"I'd say I'm happy… with where I'm at in the UFC with how I'm being paid and how I'm being treated," O'Malley told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour.

"I'm definitely happy. It's just really been a perspective change in looking at the UFC as in this is a platform for me to sell merch, to do all this stuff."

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Included in his merchandise on his official website is a $200 (£164) limited edition basketball jersey, as well as a £20 water bottle and £40 swim shorts.

He added: "It really helped my perspective and the relationship with the UFC looking at it that way that I'm going to take advantage of these opportunities.

"I'm not getting paid more now that I'm fighting Petr. On my last contract I fought Pedro and now I'm fighting Petr. So I didn't ask for more money fighting the No. 1 guy.

"I'm just going to go out there and take the opportunity, and that is to fight Petr. I'm lucky to be in this position to be healthy.

"I'm 27, in my primed fighting these top level guys and I'm just going to take advantage of that."

UFC boss Dana White has spoken openly about the draw that O'Malley is for the promotion despite him only being ranked #13 in the bantamweight division.

He said of the upcoming match-up: "We were in matchmaking and (matchmaker) Sean Shelby actually came up with that fight.

"Sean Shelby wanted that fight. I said, 'Are you out of your mind? You don't make that fight now.' He told me why you make it, and O'Malley's ready.

"O'Malley's about to be 28 years old in October, in his absolute prime right now. (He) hits like a truck. He ended up selling me on it. And more importantly, both guys wanted it.

"And even more importantly than that, when we announced it, everyone went crazy and loves it. And even more important than that, it should be a f***ing really good fight."


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