After disappointing No Contest at UFC 276, what’s next for Sean O’Malley?

Daniel Cunningham
Sean O'Malley

The Suga Show was back at UFC 276 as Sean O’Malley (15-1, 1 NC) made the walk for the first time in 2022. The budding star took on his highest ranked opponent to date in “The Young Punisher” Pedro Munhoz (19-7, 1 NC).

It was a very solid test for O’Malley to see how he would do against top level UFC competition. In the first round, both men traded kicks throughout and did a lot of feinting. O’Malley landed some decent shots here and there, but the main damage was done by Munhoz’s leg kicks.

Granted, O’Malley checked the majority of the kicks. Two of the three judges scored the first round for Munhoz. In the second round, there still wasn’t a ton of action, but O’Malley was starting to loosen up a bit more. More heat was being thrown between the two men.

Then, the worst thing that could’ve happened at UFC 276 happened. Munhoz blitzed in for an attack and O’Malley pushed away with his hands up. You’re allowed to have your hands open if the fingers are extended up and now outward.

Well, one of O’Malley’s fingers still grazed the eye of Munhoz. Watching live, it didn’t even look like he got poked. However, Munhoz said he couldn’t see and come to find out he had a scratch on his cornea which caused the UFC 276 fight to be declared a No Contest.

What’s next after UFC 276?

This was the second time that O’Malley met a ranked opponent and the second time that the fight ended in a frustrating manner. The first time he fought Chito Vera and suffered really bad drop-foot after Vera executed some beautiful leg kicks.

O’Malley would go on to lose by TKO. Then this past Saturday at UFC 276, O’Malley’s night ended in a No Contest. With these two disappointing fights in the rearview, what’s next for The Suga Show?

Well, I’ve seen a lot of people say that they need to run back the Munhoz fight as quick as possible. If they do, I’d suggest potentially running it back as a Fight Night main event opposed to a three-round fight. Given the way the fight was going, it might be better for all parties over five rounds.

However, I could see the UFC adding it to one of the next PPV cards to give it more juice. If they don’t go that route, they could book O’Malley with another big name guy that would be a winnable fight. Someone like former UFC champion Frankie Edgar.