Tomorrow night kicking off the main card at UFC 276 is a bantamweight contest featuring one of the bigger stars in the sport. The Suga Show is back as “Suga” Sean O’Malley (15-1) gets his highest ranked opponent to date in Pedro Munhoz (19-7).
Yes, technically Chito Vera is ranked higher than Munhoz is now, but when O’Malley fought Vera, Vera wasn’t ranked this high. Munhoz is clocking in at ninth in the current UFC bantamweight rankings.
You’d think that’s high for a guy who is just 1-4 in his last five. However, the four losses all came against guys who have worn UFC gold and one was a decision that could’ve easily gone his way. He’s looking to snap a two-fight losing streak at UFC 276.
However, it’s a tall order (no pun intended) tomorrow night. Since losing his lone professional fight to Chito Vera, O’Malley has gone 3-0 with three knockouts. Granted, the competition level hasn’t been that high. This is the type of fight he needs to get him to the next level.
UFC 276 Prediction
If you think about it, this is perfect match making from the UFC. The promotion wants Sean O’Malley to keep climbing the ranks, but bantamweight is filled with killers so it’s tough to pair him up. However, this is the perfect opponent.
Pedro Munhoz is going to stand and trade with O’Malley. O’Malley also has a massive height and reach advantage which is really going to play at UFC 276. However, I wouldn’t count Munhoz out due to his biggest weapon.
Munhoz might really struggle with the range, but he’s going to attack O’Malley’s legs. Calf kicks are what did O’Malley in against Chito Vera and Munhoz will look to employ that same strategy. That along with his pure toughness is going to make this a challenging fight for Suga.
However, I think O’Malley gets it done at UFC 276. I’m not convinced that he’s going to get a finish, but I think he wins a comfortable decision landing the more impactful shots throughout a three round contest.
Prediction: Sean O’Malley by Unanimous Decision