Henry Cejudo Says He Likes Sean O’Malley But Questions His Toughness
Henry Cejudo has stated that he actually likes Sean O’Malley, despite their ongoing beef. The former two division UFC champion however, believes ‘Suga’ thinks he’s better than he actually is.
After O’Malley tasted defeat for the first time by losing to Marlon Vera at UFC 252, Cejudo relentlessly trolled the former Contender Series winner online.
“He Hasn’t Been Built To Freaking Last”
Speaking on Mike Swick’s Real Quick podcast (as transcribed by MMA Fighting), Cejudo said that while he likes O’Malley, he believes he is one-dimensional and can’t absorb the kind of pain he can dish out.
“I’ll be honest with you, I actually like the kid,” Cejudo said. “In some ways I’m hating on him, in some ways I like him. I’m weird like that. I wish the kid the best, but I also think that he thinks he’s better than what he really is. Even though he’s got the gifts, he’s got great distance, great demeanour, great fakes. Watching those like very subtle. I look at all these minor little details but he hasn’t been built to freaking last.
“He hasn’t been through a war. You can give the pain but can you take the pain? That’s the difference between somebody like Sean O’Malley and me. Does he have better striking than me? Probably because of his length and his range, makes him a little dangerous. But you’ve just got to be the full package.”
Cejudo Saw Holes In O’Malley’s Game
In the days leading up to O’Malley’s last fight, Cejudo reached out to Vera to offer advice on how the former Ultimate Fighter: Latin America competitor could exploit the holes he had observed in ‘Suga’s’ game.
“Right before he fought Sean O’Malley, I sent him a message,” Cejudo said. “We’re not even friends but we have a lot of friends in common. I’m like listen the way to beat this dude — make him fight his ‘B’ side. Put him in the clinch, put him against the cage and because of the stance because he’s always heavy with his lead foot forward, I said smoke the hands and take out the f***ing kicks. Just smoke the hands and just blasting that front kick, that calf kick.
“Because it’s been taking everybody out. It’s happened to me with Demetrious [Johnson]. This is why I kind of went from the karate stance to a little more neutral because people were catching onto it a little bit too much.”
Despite his advice, Cejudo claims that he got the impression that Vera was already thinking along the same lines as him.
“He answered me right away,” Cejudo said. “He’s like ‘It’s good to hear from you champ, that means a lot to me’ so I didn’t give him the game plan because I think they kind of already had that down but when somebody’s able to tell you and convey to you, it just assures it to you so much better when you fight.”
O’Malley Hasn’t Faced Adversity
O’Malley’s greatest hurdle is the fact that he has very little experience in facing adversity during a fight, according to Cejudo.
Similar to O’Malley, Cejudo was on the receiving end of an array of calf kicks during his first title fight with UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson at UFC 197. ‘Triple C’ was also struck on the peroneal nerve and lost sensation in his foot, the same thing that happened to ‘Suga’ against ‘Chito’.
Just like O’Malley, Cejudo was then defeated via a first-round stoppage, but responded by returning to face Johnson less than two years later at UFC 227, and ultimately ending up taking the win via a split decision.
“He Actually Believes In His Own Smoke”
Whilst Cejudo recovered from adversity to go on to win the UFC flyweight and bantamweight titles, it will be interesting to see how O’Malley responds to the first blemish on his professional record.
“He’s inexperienced in that sense, in all due respect. He really is inexperienced of competition,” Cejudo said. “He can give the pain but he can’t take the pain. It’s nothing to do with him being a star because I also feel like his greatest attribute is him being confident.
“He actually believes in his own smoke, as you should but there’s a difference when you get in there with somebody that can kick you. Somebody that’s not going to shy away from you. Somebody that’s going to put you through the deep waters and how are you going to respond? A true champion is revealed by how you respond to adversity.”
Do you agree with Henry Cejudo’s assessment of Sean O’Malley?