Payton Talbott rejects Sean O’Malley comparisons after UFC Vegas 89: ‘I don’t want to be compared’

Payton Talbott wants to be his own man.

This past Saturday, Talbott picked up the second win of his UFC career, finishing Cameron Saaiman on the main card of UFC Vegas 89. It was one of the best performances of Talbott’s young career and only increased comparisons between he and another famous Contender Series alum, UFC bantamweight champion Sean O’Malley. But Talbott doesn’t see it.

“I hate that s***,” Talbott said this week on The MMA Hour. “People just do it all the time. I’ve said in a couple interviews, I don’t like being compared to him because I don’t think we fight very similar. I think we have some similarities. I get it. We have the hair, we have the long one-twos, and we do some movement things well. But if you were to see me and him fight, it would be a very different stylistic fight. I would be pushing the pace, I’d be trying to be up in his face and make it a dogfight, and he would be drawing out reactions, and feinting me, and technically trying to outclass me.”

O’Malley famously entered the UFC after a knockout win on the first season of Contender Series and is thus far one of only two graduates from the show to win UFC titles (Jamahal Hill being the other). And while most people would be flattered at being placed in such illustrious company, Talbott wants to forge his own path.

“Exactly,” Talbott said at the suggestion that he simply doesn’t want to be compared to anyone. “That’s mainly what it is. Sean’s a cool guy, so it doesn’t really piss me off too much, but it could be anyone. I don’t want to be compared.”

While he’s not interested in being compared to O’Malley, there is another athlete known for his flamboyant style and colorful hair that Talbott wouldn’t mind being compared to: Dennis Rodman.

Talbott is a big fan of the five-time NBA champion and noted him as an inspiration.

“That dude’s tight. Who doesn’t like Dennis Rodman?” Talbott said. “He’s himself in any scenario. He doesn’t care what people are going to say. He’s a little bit of a jester when it comes to getting a reaction out of people, and he’s really good at it. And he’s just 100 percent himself, unapologetically. That’s what I dig.

“I don’t care if you’re the most awful person or a terrible villain, as long as you’re 100 percent yourself and you’re true to that — I would rather people hate me for being who I am than to just feel indifferent about me. Indifference is the worst fate of all. I’d rather be hated by 90 percent of people and loved by 10.”

At the moment, there’s not a lot of hate for Talbott, who is one of the most promising prospects in one of the best weight classes in the UFC. Now 2-0 in the promotion and beginning to make a name for himself, Talbott hopes for a summer return, hopefully in front of a crowd of fans instead of at the UFC APEX.

“I’d like to fight late summer,” Talbott said. “I’d like to give myself a little month to decompress and then I want to fine-tune some things in the practice room and really drill some stuff.

“I have a lot of fans that want to go see me in person,” Talbott continued. “Amongst my group of people and the fight community.”

Source link

You May Also Like