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UFC bantamweight champion Sean O’Malley says that he is not motivated by revenge ahead of Saturday night’s UFC 299 main event. 

O’Malley, who claimed the 135-pound crown from Aljamain Sterling last year, has a sole a blemish on his 17-1 (1) record: a first round TKO loss to Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera from back in the late summer of 2020. That finish came about after O’Malley’s movement became greatly hindered by low-kicks delivered by Vera which resulted in O’Malley experiencing what is known as ‘drop foot’, where damage to a nerve in the leg essentially causes a sensation of numbness.

But ahead of his rematch with Vera on Saturday night in Miami, Florida, O’Malley said that he is entirely at peace with the outcome of their first fight.

“That fight never necessarily bothered me,” O’Malley told the media, including The Mac Life, in the Sunshine State on Wednesday. “Look where I’m at now. [If] that fight plays out a different way maybe I win that fight and the next fight I fight somebody that I wasn’t ready for and I lose, you know, my career completely plays out different.

“So I go out there and knock out Thomas Almeida like seven times with a beautiful performance, so I’m just grateful for everything that’s happened, but yeah, that fight has never really bothered me. I’m excited to go out there and do what I was going to do in that first fight.”

“I think I can do that to anybody. But every time I get in there it’s not necessarily ‘alright, I gotta find the knockout.’ I’m just going out there to win and [a knockout] happens a lot.”

Outside of this particular bout, O’Malley has also gained the attention of boxer Ryan Garcia — whose unusual outbursts on social media in recent days have led to concerns within the sport as to his well-being. Garcia, who is scheduled to fight Devin Haney next month, has said in recent comments that he would be interested in taking on O’Malley under mixed martial arts rules.

But O’Malley certainly isn’t holding his breath for this to become a reality.

“That will never happen, and if it does I’m here for it,” he said. “It wouldn’t be my fault that doesn’t happen. But realistically, that’ll never happen.”