Khabib Nurmagomedov and Sean O’Malley are on the polar opposite sides of the spectrum of mixed martial artists. Hence it was surprising when the Dagestani praised the up-and-coming bantamweight’s abilities and his future in the sport. Khabib who generally praises grapplers who can also manage to strike was not reserved in commending the American either.
Will Harris, who is close friends with Nurmagomedov and generally hangs around, filming with the Dagestani Crew, told on a recent episode of the JRE how the former champion felt about O’Malley. The comment was made shortly before Nurmagomedov’s induction into the UFC Hall of Fame and a few days before O’Malley took on his first top 10 opponent in Pedro Munhoz.
“I feel like Khabib has the best read on fights and fighters, his f**** IQ when it comes to fighters”, said Harris laying the groundwork for his statement that was to follow. He continued, “When he was the (Hall Of Fame) getting inducted , they asked him how good was O’Malley? It was me DC, Ali all backstage and Khabib is like, ‘Sean O’Malley is that guy’ and if Khabib said that, he is that guy”
It is not usual that Nurmagomedov praises someone who is polished only in one aspect of the sport. O’Malley is a creative striker who is yet to show how he faces adversity on the ground, however, if Nurmagomedov sees something in him maybe there is something hiding behind those colorful dreadlocks after all.
Sean O’Malley reacts to Khabib Nurmagomedov’s comments
O’Malley reacted to Khabib’s comments on a recent interview with Helen Yee, where the bantamweight seemed as surprised as anyone on hearing the news. “I literally listened to that, I just finished that podcast 10 minutes ago while I was driving and it’s cool”, said O’Malley giving his initial reaction.
He continued, “Like I said about the high-level fighters when they see me vs Peter, I think high level fighters see that I’m a legit Mf, that I’m not just fancy and do this crazy shit. “ O’Malley then referred to Nurmagomedov as one of the GOATs saying, “hearing something like that from Khabib, was really cool”