Some may believe that the best fighter to come from Dana White’s Contender Series is Sean O’Malley, but Jamahal Hill has something to say about that.
Since its inception in 2017, Dana White’s Contender Series has delivered six seasons of weekly action, becoming one of the best routes for up-and-coming fighters to get into the UFC. It has delivered us contenders like Dan Ige, Maycee Barber, Geoff Neal, and Johnny Walker, as well as Jamahal Hill, and perhaps most famously “Suga” Sean O’Malley.
“Suga” Sean O’Malley Gets Salty
As a testament to how good some of the prospects from DWCS have become, Jamahal Hill will be taking on number six ranked contender and former light heavyweight title challenger Thiago Santos in the UFC Vegas 59 main event.
Ahead of this bout, “Sweet Dreams” could not help but notice that there was not any footage of his 2019 bout on DWCS being featured in the b-roll for the current season of events, posting to Twitter to voice his displeasure with this.
“Damn, I noticed that I’m never in any of the DWCS videos, but yet I’m the most successful alumni from the show!!! 🤔” Hill wrote.
The comment about being the most successful DWCS alumni from Jamahal Hill sparked outrage in his comments, from fans of the objectively more popular Sean O’Malley.
While he tried to clarify that he is aware of how much more well-known O’Malley is and was only referencing the amount of wins they each have over ranked opponents, this did not stop Suga’ Sean from responding to this tweet, prompting a back and forth between the two.
“What is your definition of success?” O’Malley questioned.
“Winning fights (against) the top fighters in your division let’s start there!!” Hill replied.
This back and forth between Jamahal Hill and Sean O’Malley caught the attention of the wider MMA space, and prompted the light heavyweight prospect to be asked about it, while speaking in an interview after the UFC Vegas 59 weigh-ins.
It was here that Hill, who has a 4-1 (1NC) record in the UFC, explained that it was not his intention to spark the ire of the popular bantamweight.
“I made the claim that I am the most successful contender series alum. Which I feel as looking as far as fight resume and things that I’ve done, I felt that was just 100% true,” Hill said (h/t LowKickMMA). “But fans started chiming in and they tagged [Sean] O’Malley and he responded and I responded and then I just saw a video that he responded again. The things he said in, they’re kinda funny. Don’t get me wrong, I like Sean, whenever Sean fights, I watch but facts are facts.”
From there, Hill went on to explain that he understands the perspective that O’Malley could be considered the most successful DWCS fighter, simply due to the amount of fans he has and how many people watch his fights, including himself.
That said, he was looking at it simply based on the amount of wins he has over top contenders, which is something that O’Malley has yet to do, compared to Hill’s three ranked wins.
“He was saying fame, who makes more money,” Hill said. “I didn’t know this was a popularity contest, when I was speaking and I made that post, when I said success I was talking about what I’ve done in the job that we’re both in. So when he thinks about that, he has to go to money and he has to go to popularity which we can break all of that down because the reason why Sean O’Malley is actually really popular, he got a leg up from that start. “
There is certainly an element of truth to the point that Jamahal Hill is making, and a win over Thiago Santos would do a lot to further those efforts. Conversely, there is something to be said for how popular Sean O’Malley has been able to get without facing many top contenders.
Who do you believe is the more successful fighter right now: Jamahal Hill or Sean O’Malley?