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UFC bantamweight champion Sean O’Malley looks to have next Octagon assignment set. 

O’Malley, last seen in the cage in March where he scored a comprehensive decision win against Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera, looks set to fight top 135-pound contender Merab Dvalishvili in the next defence of his world title — a fight which will likely come despite O’Malley’s previously stated ambition of moving up to the featherweight fold in pursuit of two-division champ status.

That potential fight against 145-pound kingpin Ilia Topuria looks set to be put on the long finger though, especially considering Dvalishvili’s ongoing 10-fight win streak which includes recent victories against a trio of former champions in Henry Cejudo, Petr Yan and Jose Aldo.

And if this is how the cards fall, O’Malley is cool with it.

“I was excited, I was like ‘Hell yeah, you guys [fans] want to see me fight Merab?'” O’Malley told The Mac Life in an exclusive interview late last week.

“I’m down with that,” he added. “Ilia’s way more dangerous, way more scary. I want to do what the people want to do. I think the people want to hate no matter what the athlete wants to do.

“I want to fight Ilia [and they’re like], ‘No, you’ve got to fight Merab!'”

“Let’s do it. I’d rather fight Merab, 100 percent.

“What do the people want to see? Do they want to see me defend the belt, do they want to see me move up? I’m here for whatever.”