The UFC is on the verge of creating a new superstar and they’ve barely had to pull the trigger on anything for him yet.
‘Suga’ Sean O’Malley is 12-0 and has fought five times in the UFC if you include his initial appearance on Dana White’s Contender Series. He has three highlight reel first round knockouts and a fight of the night decision win on his resume already and has started up a war of words online with former bantamweight world champion Cody Garbrandt.
His rainbow coloured hair makes him stand out from the crowd and his ability to generate a fan-base and a buzz on the microphone certainly helps him, but its the performances in the octagon that are really catching the eye.
His hand speed is insane, his knockout power is among the highest in the division, he’s beating people in style with walk-off knockouts and he backs up all his talk. When he was fighting against Eddie Wineland, many expected it to be his biggest test.
Wineland was a grizzly veteran with good wrestling skills, who was supposed to be solid enough on the feet to take punches and drag O’Malley into deep waters. What happened though, was O’Malley threw a switch-stance straight right hand that stiffened him up like a board.
O’Malley now walks into the pay-per-view main card co-main event slot where he’ll take on Marlon Vera. With Cody Garbrandt moving down to the 125lbs division for a world title shot against Deiveson Figueiredo, a win for ‘Suga’ will see him shoot up the rankings into contention for Top 10 fights against other top competitiors.
Vera isn’t the type of fighter to be overlooked though. ‘Chito’ is a submission fighter with 8 tap-out wins from his 15 career victories. He lost his last fight in a decision to Song Yadong but prior to that was on a five-fight win streak with all finishes.
In a recent interview during fight week, Vera was very confident that his skills would match up well with O’Malley’s. If O’Malley is to continue on this rise he’s on, another knockout would be the best way to go.
His rise has been compared to that of Conor McGregor and with good reason. He’s talking the talking, walking the walk and knocking out everyone in his way while making money and creating hype by just existing. In an timeframe where hot prospects Edmen Shahbazyan and Wellington Turman were beaten but Khamzat Chimaev and Kevin Holland’s performances have seen their popularity soar, it’s the Sean O’Malley that is leading that race.
Check your tickets, get in your seat and get ready. The ‘Suga’ show is about to start.