One of those responsible for the success of Sean O'Malley in Ultimate, Tim Welch stated that he would like to watch a confrontation between his pupil and Ilia Topuria. In a respectful tone, the coach praised the challenger for the featherweight belt (up to 65,7kg) and assured that a superfight would be beneficial to the sport. In an interview with 'The MMA Hour', the coach spoke about the subject.
“Who wouldn’t want to watch this fight? It's an incredible confrontation. Ilia is one of our favorite athletes. He (Topuria) is one of the most technical guys. I've seen them both in the same environment. Ilia isn't that much bigger than O'Malley. (…) We have faced boxers throughout our career. It’s a good fight for Sean,” said Tim.
Leader of the bantamweights, Sean took over the throne of the category last season. To wear the belt, the North American knocked out aljamain sterling.