Sean O’Malley has quickly become one of the biggest names in the UFC. He is currently the No.-13 ranked bantamweight, but has a chance to take a major leap in the rankings at UFC 280. O’Malley will face-off against former champion Petr Yan, who is currently the No.1- ranked bantamweight. A win against Yan could give O’Malley a title fight in his next matchup.
O’Malley believes that the fight is a massive risk for Yan. Dana White, on the other hand, needed some convincing from Sean Shelby before agreeing that the fight made sense, according to Alex Behunin.
While on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani (starting at 2:28:43), O’Malley was asked whether he or his management had been told that a win would guarantee a title shot. O’Malley made an interesting reply, stating:
“I am my management… Solo dolo, no middleman, no one taking a random percentage for being a middleman. I do all my own deals, and s**t gets done right.”
Helwani followed up by asking O’Malley why he thinks that strategy is best for him, to which O’Malley responded:
“Well, say UFC gets a sponsorship deal and then whoever handles that at the UFC, they’re like ‘oh, UFC wants Sean O’Malley, I’m going to go to his management’ and then their management takes 20 percent, 15 percent, whatever, just to tell me about the deal, not to do anything, just to say ‘hey, UFC called, you want to do this deal?.’ Same thing with fight pay money too, you want 15 percent of my money because you did what? No, that ain’t happening. Oh, you want some of the bonus, too? Yeah, not happening.”
Is Sean O’Malley right to not avail a manager?
While many may disagree with Sean O’Malley, his decision to work without a manager makes sense from a business standpoint. For a relatively unknown up-and-coming fighter, having a manager to help with endorsements makes sense. For a fighter like O’Malley, however, who is popular outside of the octagon, a manager isn’t needed to get endorsements.
Giving 15 percent of your fight pay to your manager sounds unfair as a manager has very little say in matchmaking. It seems pointless to give away a large chunk of your income when you would have the same fight with or without the manager.
Even without a manager, O’Malley still landed a fight against Yan that many felt he didn’t deserve. Fighting on the main card of arguably the most stacked card of the year, O’Malley more than hopes for a decent payday. And unlike most fighters, he will keep the full amount that he is paid.