“Sugar” Sean O’Malley believes he will be ready to headline his first UFC card when he returns towards the end of 2018.
The undefeated prospect recently underwent a successful surgery after suffering a torn lisfranc ligament in his foot during his last bout against Andre Soukhamthath.
According to The MMA Lab fighter, he will be traveling to Las Vegas to begin his physical therapy soon.
“It went good,” O’Malley told Ariel Helwani on the latest episode of The MMA Hour.
“It’s still a little swollen. I actually went and lifted for the first time and it felt pretty good. I’ve just been icing it and I start physical therapy here soon. UFC said they’d pay for me to come out there and do my physical therapy out there, so I’ll probably go out there for a week or two and take advantage of that.”
O’Malley believes that he commands enough interest at the moment to justify stepping up to the main event slot in just his third promotional outing.
“My plan is to headline; I really want to headline my next card. I think I deserve it. It would sell good, well not necessarily sell good, but it would get a lot of views with me headlining the card,” he said.
“I’m thinking October or November some time. For five rounds, I want to make sure that I get an extra month or so to get really in shape for that.”
As far as O’Malley is concerned, he has shown steady progression from his appearance on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series up to his UFC 222 win over Soukhamthath.
“I think you can see my improvement from my Alfred (Khashakyan) fight, to my Terrion (Ware) fight, to my Soukhamthath fight. When I’m able to start training again, I’m going to improve a ton. I’m constantly improving so I will for sure be ready for that.”
Although he has a date in mind for his return to action, he has no idea who he would like to face.
“I haven’t been really paying too much attention to the division. I need to sit down and see who we want to fight next.”