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Alexandre Pantoja Only Open to Bantamweight Move to Fight Sean O’Malley



Alexandre Pantoja recently doubled down on his claims of having gotten the better of Sean O'Malley in sparring.

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Pantoja and O’Malley have gone back and forth in the past over the result of a sparring session they had six years ago. Pantoja claims to have bested “Sugar” during a sparring session leading up to the Brazilian’s Ultimate Fighting Championship debut.

Meanwhile, O’Malley has completely refuted that narrative, claiming to have stopped Pantoja instead with a liver kick in the very first round.

Pantoja is now scheduled to defend his flyweight title against Steve Erceg (12-1) in the main event at UFC 301 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “The Cannibal” reiterated his stance on the sparring session with O’Malley when asked about a potential move up to bantamweight in the future.

Pantoja claims former champ Henry Cejudo told him that he would never get the sparring footage from O’Malley. While Pantoja admits that a move up to 135 pounds doesn’t make much sense for him otherwise, he is open to the idea of settling his beef with the bantamweight champ.

“Right now, the champion for the bantamweight is Sean O’Malley and I have some history with him," the 34-year-old recently told Shakeil Mahjouri. "Before I started talking about O’Malley, he talk first about me. And I don’t understand how he started talking because I [sparred] with him six years ago for my first UFC fight. And he [said] some bad things about that, and that’s crazy because he recorded the sparring. And [at] the end of the sparring I [said], ‘Hey send to me the video then I can see your training.’ And he never passed the training [video] to me. Then I asked, ‘Hey Cejudo, can you talk with your friend for him [to] send the video.’ And Cejudo said to me, ‘He not gonna send to you bro, you smash him, he not gonna send to you.’ I say, ‘OK, that’s OK doesn’t matter.'"

Pantoja added: “I never think about going up to the bantamweight, doesn’t make sense for me. I have huge opponents at flyweight. But the only thing I can imagine to go to the bantamweight is to fight with O’Malley because he say something bad.”

In his most recent outing, O’Malley defended his throne for the first time with a lopsided unanimous decision win over Marlon Vera at UFC 299 last month.
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