UFC star Sean O’Malley has heaped praise on Israel Adesanya for being one of the greatest UFC champions of all time. O’Malley, who is coming off a knockout win over Raulian Paiva at UFC 269, shared his admiration for the middleweight king in a recent interview.
Adesanya reclaimed his title by avenging his loss to Alex Pereira at UFC 268, and is set to defend it against Sean Strickland later this year. O’Malley believes that Adesanya has surpassed the legendary Anderson Silva as the best 185-pounder in history, and also expressed his excitement for the upcoming clash with Strickland.
“Izzy has been the best champ UFC’s ever seen,” O’Malley said. “The amount of times he has fought consistently as a champion in the UFC is f*cking legendary. The level of competition (between Adesanya and Anderson Silva), I feel like is not even comparable.”
O’Malley also commented on Strickland’s controversial personality and statements, saying that he might not be the ideal champion for the UFC. However, he admitted that he would watch and buy the fight between him and Adesanya, as he expects it to be a thrilling encounter.
“If you’re the UFC, I don’t know if you want Sean Strickland as your UFC champion. His takes – him going on podcasts saying, ‘I crave killing people.’… Izzy vs. Strickland, I’m f*cking hyped for that. I will watch that, I’ll buy that, I’m excited for that. You wouldn’t watch that?”
O’Malley has always been a big fan of Adesanya, and has even expressed his desire to fight him in the future. He has also drawn comparisons to him for his flashy striking style and charismatic persona. Whether he will ever get to share the octagon with him remains to be seen, but for now, he is content with admiring him from afar.