Fighters line up to fight Sean O’Malley at UFC 264 on short notice, including Dvalishvili, Elliott

Merab Dvalishvili | Zuffa LLC

Sean O’Malley needs a new opponent for UFC 264 — and it doesn’t look like he’s going to have much trouble finding one.

Following the news that O’Malley’s originally scheduled opponent Louis Smolka has been forced to withdraw from the July 10 pay-per-view due to injury, a number of notable names have volunteered their services to step in on short notice and keep O’Malley on the card.

Perhaps the most intriguing callout comes from top bantamweight contender Merab Dvalishvili, who already has a fight lined up with Marlon Moraes for UFC 266 on Sept. 25. Dvalisvhili tweeted that he is willing to fight O’Malley next Saturday and then also fight Moraes in three months.

If @SugaSeanMMA needs an opponent I am ready and I will still fight Marlon in September!

— Merab “The Machine” Dvalishvili (@MerabDvalishvil) June 29, 2021

One-time flyweight title challenger Tim Elliott tweeted that he will be in Las Vegas next week and that making the 135-pound limit won’t be an issue for him. Elliott was supposed to fight Sumudaerji this past weekend, but Sumudaerji withdrew with an injury. He has competed once as a bantamweight in the UFC, defeating Mark De La Rosa at UFC 219 in December 2017.

I’ll be in Vegas that weekend! I can make 135 easy.. my opponent just pulled out for my June 26th fight!! I feel like I’m the guy.

— Tim Elliott (@TElliott125) June 29, 2021

Bantamweight contender Ricky Simon also volunteered his services, shrugging off the short-notice nature of the booking.

Less than 2 weeks? I accept. https://t.co/XCZxZW6yBA

— Ricky Simón (@RickySimonUFC) June 29, 2021

And occasional O’Malley rival Brian Kelleher also offered a reaction to the news, though he didn’t explicitly offer his services for UFC 264.

Sugar how you get so fly pic.twitter.com/YnVQWVHn4l

— Brian BOOM Kelleher (@brianboom135) June 29, 2021

The lineup to potentially fight O’Malley extends well beyond the confines of the UFC as well, as former UFC flyweight contender Ray Borg also chimed in.

Borg parted ways with the promotion last year and recently returned to action at UAE Warriors 20 in Abu Dhabi, where he beat Jesse Arnett by unanimous decision to get back in the win column.

Closed mouths don’t get fed right? Put me back in coach I’m ready to go. https://t.co/oXyGTY0TPe

— Ray Borg (@tazmexufc) June 29, 2021

O’Malley himself is yet to address any of the callouts, only tweeting, “Not surprised,” when the news of Smolka’s withdrawal broke.

Not surprised

— Sean O’Malley (@SugaSeanMMA) June 29, 2021

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