Kicking off the main card ofÂ UFC 264 tonight was a showdown in the bantamweight division. Rising star â€œSugaâ€ Sean Oâ€™Malley (13-1) returned as he was taking on promotional newcomer Kris MoutinhoÂ (9-4).
Originally, Oâ€™Malley was supposed to take on Luis Smolka atÂ UFCÂ 264. However, Smolka had to pull out of the fight. Once Smolka was out of the fight, the promotion shopped around several replacement options.
Ultimately, they landed onÂ UFC newcomer Kris Moutinho. Moutinho has spent his entire career thus far fighting on the regional circuit. Heading into tonight, he was on a two-fight win streak.
His last fight came in May at Cage Fury Fighting Championships. He submitted Andrew Salas in the third round. Out of his nine professional wins, Moutinho has four finishes and five wins via decision.
The Suga Show bounced back well after he suffered his first career defeat. Last August atÂ UFCÂ 252, Oâ€™Malley suffered his first loss at the hands of Chito Vera. He returned atÂ UFCÂ 260 where he knocked out Thomas Almeida. So far in hisÂ UFCÂ career, Oâ€™Malley is 5-1 with three knockouts.
UFC 264 Recap
The UFC 264 bantamweight contest kicked off with immediate pressure from Moutinho. Oâ€™Malley circles on the outside and lands a massive leg kick. More pressure from Moutinho as Oâ€™Malley lands a nice jab.
Moutinho throws a combination, but he’s hit with a clean counter from Oâ€™Malley. Tons of pressure from Moutinho and Oâ€™Malley throws another kick. Powerful kick from Moutinho and Oâ€™Malley lands a massive jab.
Big kicks from Oâ€™Malley and The Suga Show is on. However, Moutinho isn’t backing away and he throws bombs back at Oâ€™Malley. 1-2 from Oâ€™Malley as Moutinho pushes forward. Massive combination rocks Moutinho bad.
Oâ€™Malley showboating here as he’s teeing off on Kris Moutinho. Oâ€™Malley slows his pace as Moutinho goes back to the pressure after he recovers. Moutinho isn’t backing down at all as he pushes forward threw the bombs of Oâ€™Malley.
Big combination lands for Kris Moutinho. Massive low kick from Moutinho and Oâ€™Malley is slowing down. Back-to-back 1-2s land for Oâ€™Malley. Moutinho continues to push forward like a zombie. Moutinho dropped as the round closes and it’s 1-0 Oâ€™Malley at UFC 264.
Moutinho looked out on his feet in between rounds at UFC 264. Spinning back kick lands for Oâ€™Malley to start the striking in round two. Moutinho is talking so much to Oâ€™Malley as he pushes forward here in the second.
More pressure from Moutinho here. Jab lands for Oâ€™Malley. Huge right hand connects for Oâ€™Malley. Head kick from Oâ€™Malley and he follows with two jabs. Left straight for Suga. Moutinho lands a body kick as he pushes forward.
Moutinho is putting so much pressure on Oâ€™Malley here in the second. Left straight from Oâ€™Malley connects. Moutinho pushes Oâ€™Malley back to the fence and Oâ€™Malley circles as he lands a body kick. Powerful leg kick from Suga Sean.
I’m so impressed with Kris Moutinho here as he just keeps coming. Right hand lands for Moutinho. Combination from Moutinho and Oâ€™Malley lands a big right straight as he moves in. Moutinho’s face is busted up here and Oâ€™Malley is looking tired.
Both men exchange lefts with a minute left. Big body shot lands for Oâ€™Malley. Left hook from Moutinho and Oâ€™Malley is starting to fade a little. Right hand from Moutinho and he’s gaining momentum. That said, as the round ends, it’s 2-0 Oâ€™Malley at UFC 264.
Heading into the final round at UFC 264 and Moutinho needs a finish. Kicks to open for Oâ€™Malley here in the third. Moutinho pushes forward and lands a low kick. Moutinho is talking to Oâ€™Malley as he’s walking him down.
Big shot lands for Moutinho and Oâ€™Malley circles and jabs. Body kick lands for Oâ€™Malley. Big right hooks land for Kris Moutinho. Oâ€™Malley looking exhausted here in the third round. Low kick lands for Kris Moutinho.
Big deep breaths from Sean Oâ€™Malley. Right straight lands for Oâ€™Malley and another big hook on the exit. Big headkick lands for Oâ€™Malley, but Moutinho just smiles and walks forward. Big combination from Kris Moutinho.
Beautiful combination from Oâ€™Malley as again, Moutinho pushes forward. Moutinho is wearing a ton of damage, but he’s not moving back. Oâ€™Malley lands a big 1-2. He follows that up with a few big shots, but Moutinho doesn’t even stop.
Moutinho is literally a zombie that’s not going away here in the third. The underdog smiles as he continues to press forward. Big jab from Oâ€™Malley and Oâ€™Malley lands a few big shots behind it. Herb Dean steps in and the crowd erupts in boos as Moutinho protests the stoppage.
Sean Oâ€™Malley def. Kris Moutinho by TKO – Round 3