Henry Cejudo remains skeptical about Sean O’Malley’s capacity to be a top ticket-seller in the UFC.
The UFC 292 event marked a significant milestone for Sean “The Sugar Show” O’Malley. Just 51 ticks into the second round of his inaugural title bout against Aljamain Sterling, O’Malley sealed the deal with a flawless right-hand counter, then topped it off with a ground-and-pound flurry. Having made a splashy entrance in 2017 through Dana White’s Contender Series, O’Malley has finally fulfilled the high expectations set for him. Now the key question is how far this 28-year-old can soar in his career.
However, former dual-division UFC champion Henry Cejudo isn’t so convinced. Asserting that he has inside information on UFC 292’s numbers, Cejudo suggests that the star power attributed to O’Malley might be overblown.
“Listen up, folks. I’ve got insiders at ESPN—let’s keep the names anonymous—but Sean O’Malley’s bout against Sterling only pulled in around 300,000 to 350,000 PPV buys,” Cejudo revealed on his YouTube channel. “So, the real question for Sean is, can you really be a pay-per-view supernova? Sure, you’ve got the belt and a huge Instagram following, but can you translate that into PPV sales?”
It’s worth noting that since partnering with ESPN, UFC’s PPV buy numbers are kept under wraps. However, the video of O’Malley’s knockout already boasts 8.9 million views on the UFC YouTube channel at the time of this report.
Fresh off a razor-thin split decision loss to Sterling, Cejudo still believes he’s in the running for a title shot. O’Malley has hinted at potentially defending his title against Cejudo in the upcoming months. Meanwhile, other top contenders like Merab Dvalishvili and Cory Sandhagen are sidelined due to injuries.
In a division brimming with talented fighters, Cejudo and Marlon Vera, the only man to ever defeat O’Malley, are looking like the most viable challengers. Cejudo argues that an O’Malley vs. Cejudo fight would be more compelling and marketable, given their shared city and gym rivalry.
“If you’re asking me, the UFC isn’t keen on a wrestler hogging the spotlight. That’s why I spice up my bouts, otherwise, wrestling would just be a snoozefest,” Cejudo opined.
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Is it too soon to gauge O’Malley’s draw power? UFC 292 was his first time headlining a PPV, and those 300K-350K buys are not too shabby for a rookie.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Henry Cejudo and Sean O’Malley
What was the major claim made by Henry Cejudo about UFC 292?
Henry Cejudo claimed that UFC 292, headlined by Sean O’Malley and Aljamain Sterling, only garnered between 300,000 to 350,000 PPV buys. Cejudo questions O’Malley’s ability to be a significant draw in the UFC based on these numbers.
Why is Cejudo skeptical about Sean O’Malley’s star power?
Cejudo is skeptical because, despite the hype around O’Malley and his recent championship win, the PPV buys for UFC 292 did not meet the expectations that one might have for a new superstar in the sport.
What did Cejudo say about a potential fight between him and Sean O’Malley?
Cejudo hinted at a potential bout between him and O’Malley, stating that the two fighters hail from the same city and their gyms are rivals. He believes this adds an intriguing storyline that could make for a marketable fight.
How did Sean O’Malley perform in his fight against Aljamain Sterling at UFC 292?
Sean O’Malley defeated Aljamain Sterling just 51 seconds into the second round with a right-hand counter followed by ground-and-pound punches. The win solidified O’Malley’s reputation as a rising star in the UFC.
What is Henry Cejudo’s current status in the bantamweight division?
Henry Cejudo is coming off a close split-decision loss to the now-former champion Aljamain Sterling. Despite the loss, Cejudo believes he is still in title contention and should be considered for future championship bouts.
Are the PPV buy rates for UFC events publicly disclosed?
No, ever since UFC aligned with ESPN, the PPV buy rates are no longer made public. However, Cejudo claims to have insider information on the numbers for UFC 292.
How has Sean O’Malley’s knockout of Aljamain Sterling performed online?
As of the time of writing, the video of O’Malley’s knockout finish has received 8.9 million views on the UFC YouTube channel, indicating a strong online following.
What are the other contenders in the bantamweight division currently dealing with?
Other top-ranked contenders like Merab Dvalishvili and Cory Sandhagen are currently recovering from injuries. This potentially leaves the door open for a title shot between O’Malley and Cejudo.