Sean O’Malley suggests brain damage behind Cody Garbrandt’s recent call-out

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sean o'malley
Dec 11, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Sean O’Malley reacts following his TKO victory against Raulian Paiva during UFC 269 at T-Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Young gun UFC bantamweight Sean O’Malley says a fight with Cody Garbrandt is not happening, and that the CTE must be talking in “No Love’s” recent call out.

Last week, former 135-pound champion Garbrandt (12-5) suggested the idea of a matchup with O’Malley (15-1) and his desire to “whoop” the twelfth-ranked talent in a fight. The 30-year-old has lost five of his last six and recently suffered a knockout loss to Kai Kara-France at UFC 269 in December. Garbrandt’s career is at a low point, and the fact that it includes four knockout losses since the end of 2017 is why “Sugar” says there is no way that fight is being made.

O’Malley is 7-1 in the UFC and currently on a three-fight win streak. From his perspective, the fight doesn’t make any sense at this point in their respective careers, and the idea is so ludicrous that the Montana native wonders if brain damage from Garbrandt’s KO losses is making him say some nonsensical things.

Sean O’Malley shuts down Cody Garbrandt fight talk

“Dude, Cody’s not getting that fight. That fight’s not happening,” O’Malley said on a new edition of the Timbo Sugar Show podcast. … “It doesn’t make sense for him to say that. You wonder if that’s CTE. He’s been knocked out five times in the last two years. That fight’s not happening. At least not next. It literally just doesn’t make sense if you look at his record.”

The Mayo Clinic defines Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) as “brain degeneration likely caused by repeated head traumas. CTE is a diagnosis made only at autopsy by studying sections of the brain.”

O’Malley makes a valid point. However, in the fight game name-value often trumps recent record, so a fight with Garbrandt would still be a major moment in O’Malley’s young career. It’s a case the show’s co-host, and O’Malley’s head coach, Tim Welch tried to make when he said, “No it doesn’t [make sense], but for the fans, that would probably be the most-watched fight of all of yours [so far].”

Although the 27-year-old star agreed with his coach, he explained that there is little to gain from the booking since Garbrandt’s stock in the UFC is at an extreme low.

“Against Cody, yea [it would be heavily watched]. No, that’s not next. … I go out there and knockout out Cody, he’s one and seven [in his last eight]. I lose to Cody, I lose to someone who’s kind of looked at as who sucks now,”said O’Malley.

O’Malley fought on the same card as Garbrandt last month. He opened up the event’s pay-per-view main card with a first-round KO of former ranked flyweight Raulian Paiva. It was his eleventh KO win in 15 career victories.

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