UFC Casey O’Neill appreciates early spot in rankings Tv Channel
It’s been a banner year for Casey O’Neill.
O’Neill (8-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC), who hasn’t even been part of the UFC roster for 12 months, is already a ranked flyweight, debuting at No. 14 after her third-round TKO of Antonina Shevchenko this past Saturday at UFC Fight Night 193.
“It’s awesome,” O’Neill told MMA Junkie on becoming a ranked fighter. “I didn’t expect it to happen because Antonina wasn’t a ranked opponent when I fought her, but I guess they’re putting some respect on my name for getting three fights and three finishes in a year, which is super nice. I guess the only way from here is up. It’s nice to be recognized.”
Despite gaining steam fairly quickly, the 23-year-old wants to slow her role. Not in a rush to be fast tracked, O’Neill is content to spend some time honing her skills and doesn’t mind slowly working her way up the rankings.
“It’s definitely going fast,” O’Neill said of her UFC career. “I’m someone who loves to fight a lot. I struggle to turn down a fight when I get offered a fight, and I struggle to slow down. I’m thinking it’s going fast, but everybody who knows me kind of expected this from me. I would like to slow down a little bit because I did say I wanted to fight everybody in the division, and now I’m in the rankings, and it doesn’t look like that’s gonna happen, so I don’t want to go too fast. I want to be able to still gain experience and have a lot of fights, and I think the higher up that you get in the rankings, the less fights that you have. I’m just trying to slow down a little bit and smell the roses, I guess.”
— Farah Hannoun (@Farah_Hannoun) October 7, 2021
O’Neill almost scrapped her plan when she contemplated stepping in to face Maycee Barber at UFC 269 in December after Montana De La Rosa withdrew, but she ultimately decided to stick to her guns and take a bit of time off.
“I definitely thought about it for a minute there, but I have to stand by what I said, otherwise the UFC is never going to believe me,” O’Neill said. “After this one I said I wanted to take a little bit of time. I can’t just jump straight back in there. It was very tempting, though.”