UFC president Dana White doesn't believe that rising bantamweight contender "Suga" Sean O'Malley is ready for elite competition just yet.
White spoke with Barstool's Robbie Fox ahead of this weekend's UFC 269 event and responded with the following when asked what he made of some of the recent comments O'Malley made about his current contract status with the promotion as well as not wanting to fight ranked opponents on his current deal. The 27-year old Helena, Montana native will kick off Saturday night's pay-per-view main card against Raulian Paiva.
"It has nothing to do with his contract, I mean, he's not ready," White said (h/t MMA Fighting). “You guys wanna throw him to the wolves. You don’t move somebody that fast unless they’re Khamzat Chimaev. Khamzat is a guy you’ll feel comfortable moving that fast. I mean, O’Malley just lost a couple of fights ago to (Marlon Vera). So, talking about bigger fights and all that sh*t, this is a tough fight for him on Saturday night. In his last fight, he looked incredible, he put on a clinic. I think because O’Malley’s so popular and whatever, you’re always gonna have the critics that give this kid sh*t. He’s a tough kid, he’s fun, he’s exciting to watch. But he’s making his way the way you’re supposed to. You don’t just turn O’Malley around and throw him in there against killers. That’s not how it works.”