Is the UFC targeting Sean O’Malley – Brian Kelleher?

Sean O'Malley

The UFC has been working on finding the next opponent for “The Suga Show.” Sean O’Malley (14-1) is currently sitting on the sidelines waiting for the promotion to finalize his next opponent so he can get back into the octagon.

Originally, the UFC was targeting O’Malley against Frankie Edgar at UFC 268 in November. However, due to some scheduling conflicts, O’Malley turned down the fight with the former lightweight champion.

Afterwards, there appeared to be some tension between O’Malley and the UFC. However, that tension has seemingly been resolved and now the promotion is focused on getting O’Malley booked.

The word is that the promotion is targeting UFC 269 for O’Malley’s return. The card is expected to be huge featuring three title fights and a number of other high-level fights. The UFC does tend to go all out for the end of the year PPV.

O’Malley’s addition to the card would just add another big name. With that being said, there’s been some rumblings surrounding O’Malley’s next opponent and the leading candidate posted on Twitter that O’Malley had accepted the fight. 

Is the UFC booking O’Malley – Kelleher?

Brian Kelleher (23-12) took to Twitter to say that O’Malley had accepted a fight with him. While no confirmation occurred, the fight would take place at UFC 269 as mentioned above.

However, some recent back-and-forth has seemingly put a little water on the flames. O’Malley’s coach Tim Welch commented saying that Kelleher was already booked according to the UFC.

However, Kelleher has denied that he has a fight lined up. Now, it’s not out of practice for the UFC to have a potential fight lined up for someone before even offering it to him. This could be the case with Kelleher, however, it could be something different altogether.

Kelleher is not currently ranked in the top fifteen. That said, he’s one of the more entertaining bantamweights to watch and he’s gone 4-2 in his last six UFC fights. O’Malley has publicly stated that he doesn’t care if his next opponent is ranked because his pay doesn’t change.

While I personally would rather see O’Malley fight someone in the top fifteen, there’s no momentum with that right now. A lot is still up in the air, but it does appear that the UFC is moving in the direction of booking O’Malley against Brian Kelleher.

UFC targeting Frankie Edgar – Sean O’Malley

Frankie Edgar

The UFC is targeting a big time matchup in the bantamweight division. Ariel Helwani reported this week that the promotion was looking at booking a fight between former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar (24-9-1) and “Suga” Sean O’Malley (14-1).

Originally, the UFC wanted to book this fight for November at UFC 268. O’Malley turned down the proposed date due to conflicts and said that he was treated terribly by the promotion’s match maker for declining the bout. 

That said, the word is that the promotion is still targeting a matchup between the two men. In terms of name recognition, this would be the biggest fight of Sean O’Malley’s career.

In his last fight at UFC 264, O’Malley took out promotional newcomer Kris Moutinho. After the fight, O’Malley called out some of the elite guys in the division, however, Edgar was not one of the men mentioned.

That said, Edgar makes a ton of sense for O’Malley. He’s a former UFC champion and he has the skillset to really push The Suga Show. If O’Malley wants to climb the rankings quickly, this is a perfect fight.

Last UFC Stand for Edgar?

Frankie Edgar still has a lot of fight left in him. The former lightweight champion is now competing in his third weight class in the UFC as he’s trying to once again capture gold that has evaded him since 2012.

As mentioned, Edgar became a star when he became the UFC lightweight champion. That said, Edgar was always undersized for a lightweight. Eventually, Edgar moved to 145 pounds and tried to become a champion at featherweight.

Edgar had three cracks at the UFC featherweight title and came up short in each contest. For the final move of his career, Edgar decided to drop down to 135 pounds and compete as a bantamweight.

In reality, this is the best weight class for Edgar and who knows what his career would’ve been like if he would have been at 135 the entire time. He made his bantamweight debut last year and picked up a win over Pedro Munhoz.

Edgar lost in a UFC title eliminator earlier this year to Cory Sandhagen by first round knockout in 28 seconds. That said, Edgar is still ready to try again and he’s ready to derail The Suga Show.

‘Suga’ Sean O’Malley being treated like ‘S–t’ by the UFC

Sean O'Malley

Add Sean O’Malley (14-1) to the list of fighters that have vocally expressed frustrations with the UFC. The budding star appeared on his podcast recently where he talked about declining a fight offer from the UFC.

The promotion apparently wanted O’Malley to appear on their November PPV which is scheduled to take place at Madison Square Garden. Whenever the UFC goes to MSG, they usually try to have a massive card for the event.

UFC 268, scheduled for November 6th, is supposed to take place at MSG. The promotion offered O’Malley a fight on the card, but due to a number of different circumstances, O’Malley had to turn down that specific date. One of the main reason’s was that his coach had a prior engagement.

O’Malley said things took a turn when he declined the date. He elaborated by saying, “Dude, I don’t wanna fight in New York. It’s far, the taxes are ridiculous, and Tim (O’Malley’s coach) has no-Gi ADCC trials that weekend. He told me that before I even potentially had a fight. So, that’s his thing and I’m not gonna say, ‘No. I have a fight, we’re doing it.’ Especially when I could fight like a month later in Vegas.” (Transcription from MMA Fighting)

Issues with UFC matchmakers

O’Mally said that UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby didn’t love the fact that he turned it down. He continued, “And Sean Shelby was just like, mad and like, ‘Fine. Go hang out with 6ix9ine’. Just acting like a f*cking tool, dude. I don’t know if I should’ve said that or not. But it’s like, dude, come on.”

O’Malley continued, “Don’t treat me like that. Like, act like I’m not training or nothing. ‘Go, you’re hanging out with 6ix9ine, dude’. Like, I’m hung out with him once. Well, three days. But yeah, so, it’s like, cool, dude. Treat me like a piece of sh*t. No, it’s like, dude, I would rather not deal with him at all and just deal with Dana.”

It’s widely known that the bigger UFC stars deal directly with either Dana White or Hunter Campbell. The mid-tier fighters usually only deal with the UFC matchmakers and it appears that O’Malley was still dealing with Sean Shelby.

O’Malley has superstar potential for the UFC and my guess is that he’s going to end up coming out just fine from this. With his social media presence and connection to big stars, the promotion would be wise to get behind the rising bantamweight contender.

Ultimately, this situation will iron itself out and the promotion will likely get O’Malley on the books for a December PPV. However, this is just another instance of a top UFC fighter being vocally frustrated with the promotion

After dominant win at UFC 264, what’s next for ‘Suga’ Sean O’Malley?

Sean O'Malley

Kicking off the main card at UFC 264 was a showdown in the bantamweight division between newcomer Kris Moutinho (9-5) and “Suga” Sean O’Malley (14-1). First and foremost, I truly don’t believe there was a loser in this fight.

Yes, O’Malley completely dominated and put on a masterclass on Saturday night. However, Kris Moutinho showed insane heart and made good on his promise for the two of the to get Fight of The Night.

Moutinho took everything O’Malley threw at him and kept coming. Herb Dean made the unfortunate call to stop the fight in the third, but pretty much everyone believes that Moutinho should have been given the last 30 seconds to finish the fight.

Nevertheless, O’Malley shined at UFC 264. Moutinho was a replacement opponent, and O’Malley was taking a risk in fighting a relative unknown. His role was to completely dominate the fight and that’s what he did.

The Suga Show was on fall display. His striking was sensational, his counters were perfect, and as always, he was quite the showman. With the win, O’Malley advanced to 6-1 in the UFC with the lone loss coming against Chito Vera (17-7-1).

What’s next after UFC 264?

After the UFC 264 contest ended, O’Malley had a few names that he called out. He called out Dominick Cruz, Rob Font, Cody Garbrandt, and Petr Yan. In reality, I’m not sure any of those guys are going to be options for O’Malley.

Font is likely going to be in a title eliminator next which rules him out. Cody Garbrandt’s manager announced he’s moving to 125 pounds so he’s out. Petr Yan is fighting for the UFC title next so he’s out.

Dominick Cruz could be an option, but the former UFC champion is seeking someone higher in the rankings. In reality, I don’t think O’Malley will get anyone that he called out after the fight on Saturday night.

So, who should star in The Suga Show next? Well, Cody Garbrandt’s agent had a fantastic suggestion about another one of his clients. Ali Abdelaziz suggested that Sean O’Malley fights former UFC champion Frankie Edgar (24-9-1) next.

Personally, I love that fight for O’Malley. It would be a huge test and it would really show just where The Suga Show is at. Edgar just fought in a title eliminator against Cory Sandhagen and fell short. He’s ranked seventh and would be the perfect step up.

If not Edgar, I really wouldn’t mind seeing the rematch with Chito Vera. Vera is ranked 13th and there first fight did cast some doubt based on the way it ended. Why not have the two men run things back so we can all get some closure with that one.

Sound Off: Who should Sean O’Malley fight next?

Sean O’Malley finishes a game Kris Moutinho at UFC 264

Sean O'Malley

Kicking off the main card of UFC 264 tonight was a showdown in the bantamweight division. Rising star “Suga” Sean O’Malley (13-1) returned as he was taking on promotional newcomer Kris Moutinho (9-4).

Originally, O’Malley was supposed to take on Luis Smolka at UFC 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 on 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 at UFC 252, O’Malley suffered his first loss at the hands of Chito Vera. He returned at UFC 260 where he knocked out Thomas Almeida. So far in his UFC career, O’Malley is 5-1 with three knockouts.

UFC 264 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 264 bantamweight contest kicked off with immediate pressure from Moutinho. O’Malley circles on the outside and lands a massive leg kick. More pressure from Moutinho as O’Malley lands a nice jab.

Moutinho throws a combination, but he’s hit with a clean counter from O’Malley. Tons of pressure from Moutinho and O’Malley throws another kick. Powerful kick from Moutinho and O’Malley lands a massive jab.

Big kicks from O’Malley and The Suga Show is on. However, Moutinho isn’t backing away and he throws bombs back at O’Malley. 1-2 from O’Malley as Moutinho pushes forward. Massive combination rocks Moutinho bad.

O’Malley showboating here as he’s teeing off on Kris Moutinho. O’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 O’Malley.

Big combination lands for Kris Moutinho. Massive low kick from Moutinho and O’Malley is slowing down. Back-to-back 1-2s land for O’Malley. Moutinho continues to push forward like a zombie. Moutinho dropped as the round closes and it’s 1-0 O’Malley at UFC 264.

Round 2

Moutinho looked out on his feet in between rounds at UFC 264. Spinning back kick lands for O’Malley to start the striking in round two. Moutinho is talking so much to O’Malley as he pushes forward here in the second.

More pressure from Moutinho here. Jab lands for O’Malley. Huge right hand connects for O’Malley. Head kick from O’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 O’Malley here in the second. Left straight from O’Malley connects. Moutinho pushes O’Malley back to the fence and O’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 O’Malley lands a big right straight as he moves in. Moutinho’s face is busted up here and O’Malley is looking tired.

Both men exchange lefts with a minute left. Big body shot lands for O’Malley. Left hook from Moutinho and O’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 O’Malley at UFC 264.

Round 3

Heading into the final round at UFC 264 and Moutinho needs a finish. Kicks to open for O’Malley here in the third. Moutinho pushes forward and lands a low kick. Moutinho is talking to O’Malley as he’s walking him down.

Big shot lands for Moutinho and O’Malley circles and jabs. Body kick lands for O’Malley. Big right hooks land for Kris Moutinho. O’Malley looking exhausted here in the third round. Low kick lands for Kris Moutinho.

Big deep breaths from Sean O’Malley. Right straight lands for O’Malley and another big hook on the exit. Big headkick lands for O’Malley, but Moutinho just smiles and walks forward. Big combination from Kris Moutinho.

Beautiful combination from O’Malley as again, Moutinho pushes forward. Moutinho is wearing a ton of damage, but he’s not moving back. O’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 O’Malley and O’Malley lands a few big shots behind it. Herb Dean steps in and the crowd erupts in boos as Moutinho protests the stoppage.

Sean O’Malley def. Kris Moutinho by TKO – Round 3

UFC books Sean O’Malley – Louis Smolka

Sean O'Malley

The UFC is finalizing a fun bantamweight matchup for their July PPV. Ryan Frederick was the first to report this afternoon that the promotion had verbal agreements in place for Sean O’Malley (13-1) – Louis Smolka (17-7).

The matchup will take place at UFC 264 the same night as Conor McGregor – Dustin Poirier III. This is a big fight for Louis Smolka and Suga Sean. Smolka is coming off of a win over Jose Alberto Quinonez in December.

O’Malley had knocked out Quinonez earlier in 2020. Prior to that, Smolka lost by guillotine choke to Casey Kenney. In his last five fights inside the UFC, Smolka has gone 3-2 with the two losses coming against Kenney and Matt Schnell.

This is actually the second UFC run for Smolka. Originally, Smolka was competing in the UFC‘s flyweight division. However, after he lost four-straight fights, the promotion let him go.

Smolka went do some some smaller promotions and won three straight to get back in the UFC. This is a massive opportunity for Smolka considering the name recognition of Sean O’Malley.

UFC 264 now features The Suga Show

Sean O’Malley is going to be looking for his second straight victory. We last saw O’Malley back at UFC 260 when he knocked out Thomas Almeida in the third round. It was a beautiful performance by the charismatic bantamweight.

The win was the perfect bounce back to his first career loss. Back at UFC 252, O’Malley took on Chito Vera. After starting the round well, O’Malley ate a brutal calf kick which caused him to roll his ankle multiple times.

Chito Vera was able to take advantage and stop O’Malley in the first. Prior to that loss, O’Malley had been 4-0 in the UFC. O’Malley has been very vocal about the fact that he still believes that he’s undefeated in his mind.

He doesn’t consider that fight to be a loss and even held up a zero when Bruce Buffer said he had one loss at UFC 260. This is going to be a very fun fight and whoever wins in July will likely find a ranking by their name the following week.

What’s next for Sean O’Malley after UFC 260?

Sean O'Malley

This past Saturday at UFC 260, the Suga Show returned to the octagon. On the PPV main card, Sean O’Malley (13-1) took on Thomas Almeida (22-5) in a big matchup in the bantamweight division.

There is no questioning the fact that Sean O’Malley has star appeal. The young bantamweight contender has amassed a big following on social media and his fighting style/personality makes him a very polarizing figure.

O’Malley suffered his first career loss back at UFC 252 against Chito Vera (16-7-1). In that fight, O’Malley started very well, but ultimately, the calf kicks of Chito Vera cut down the young contender and Vera got the TKO win.

This was a huge fight for O’Malley because a loss would be detrimental to his appeal. Thomas Almeida at one point was looked at as a future UFC champion. He was once 21-1, however, a skid had him 1-3 in his last four leading to UFC 260.

Unfortunately for Almeida, the skid didn’t stop. Outside of landing some decent kicks, Almeida was completely dominated by O’Malley. O’Malley ended up scoring a massive third round KO to show the world that UFC 252 wasn’t the end of the Suga Show after all.

What’s next after UFC 260?

Prior to his loss to Vera, O’Malley had just entered the UFC’s top fifteen at bantamweight. With Vera in that fifteenth spot, I don’t expect to see O’Malley in the rankings when they get updated tomorrow.

However, I believe he needs to fight a ranked opponent in his next fight. There are a couple of options out there for the Suga Show. One fight I like is the winner of the upcoming Cody Stamann – Merab Dvalishvili fight. 

Whoever would win between that winner and O’Malley would shoot into the top ten of the division. However, there’s another intriguing matchup that Chael Sonnen mentioned on Saturday night.

That matchup would be against former UFC bantamweight champion, Dominick Cruz (23-3). Cruz just got back on the winning track after a lengthy layoff at UFC 259. A matchup between the two would make a lot of sense for both.

For O’Malley, it would give him the chance to defeat a former UFC champion and arguably the greatest bantamweight of all time. For Dominick Cruz, he could make a statement to O’Malley’s following that he’s still here and he’s not going anywhere. Several compelling options for The Suga Show.

Sean O’Malley knocks Thomas Almeida out at UFC 260

Sean O'Malley

The third fight on the UFC 260 main card was a bantamweight showdown between “Suga” Sean O’Malley (12-1) and Thomas Almeida (22-4). Both of these men were looking to get back on track after a loss in their last outing.

Back at UFC 252, Sean O’Malley saw his perfect record see it’s first blemish in a loss to Chito Vera. After a good start from O’Malley, Vera landed some beautiful calf kicks that deadened the leg of O’Malley.

After that, Vera followed up and got the TKO win. O’Malley has become a star with a huge following, but in order for his star to grow, he needed to get back on track with a win tonight.

Standing in his way was Thomas Almeida. Almeida was once considered the future of the UFC‘s bantamweight division. At one point, he was 21-1 and looked like he was closing in on a title shot.

However, that is where he ran into Cody Garbrandt. Garbrandt knocked him out in the first round and starting with that loss, Almeida is just 1-3 in his last four. UFC 260 was a massive opportunity for him to get back on track.

UFC 260 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 260 bantamweight contest opened with a touch of the gloves. O’Malley moves forward immediately and looks to land a 1-2. Almeida gets his striking going with a calf kick.

O’Malley keeps looking for the left hand throughout the first minute. Another calf kick lands for Almeida, but O’Malley counters with his own big leg kick. A big body kick lands for O’Malley.

A nasty spinning back kick to the body lands for O’Malley. Almeida pushes forward and lands a massive left hook, but O’Malley just ate it. Another big body kick lands for Sean O’Malley.

The kicks were working everywhere for The Suga Show in the first. A massive head kick lands and Almeida goes down. O’Malley walks away, but the fight wasn’t stopped. Almeida gets up and they keep fighting.

Another huge head kick lands for O’Malley, but Almeida took this one clean. Almeida pushes forward and lands a good right hand to close the round. Dominant opening round at UFC 260 for Sean O’Malley.

Round 2

Almeida seemed to have recovered to start the second round at UFC 260. O’Malley opens the striking with a straight left hand. Almeida was struggling with the distance and O’Malley catches him with a clean combination.

A good low kick lands for Almeida and it sits down O’Malley briefly. Another massive low kick lands for Almeida. A side kick to the leg lands for O’Malley and it briefly buckles the leg of Almeida.

A couple of clean left hands land for Sean O’Malley. 1-2 up the middle for O’Malley. Again, it appears that Thomas Almeida was struggling with the distance. Front kick to the body lands for Sean O’Malley.

One minute left in the round and O’Malley starts pushing forward. However, Almeida lands some massive leg kicks that backs him off. O’Malley slips on a flying knee attempt and the round ends. I think it’s 2-0 O’Malley at UFC 260.

Round 3

Heading into the final round at UFC 260 and I think Almeida needs the finish in this one. The two touch gloves and the action begins. A good front kick lands to start for O’Malley.

A huge low kick from O’Malley swings Almeida around. Almeida looks for an entry, but O’Malley lands another front kick to the leg which made him back off. O’Malley was just picking Almeida apart here in the first 90 seconds.

A huge 1-2 lands for Sean O’Malley. Almeida starts pressing forward with urgency, but couldn’t land anything. A couple of clean straight lefts land from O’Malley, but Almeida keeps pushing forward.

O’Malley just keeps popping him with clean shots, but Almeida keeps coming. A massive left hand lands from O’Malley and Almeida falls. O’Malley walks away again, but the referee doesn’t stop it. This time, O’Malley follows with a massive clean shot and Almeida is out cold.

Sean O’Malley def. Thomas Almeida by KO – Round 3

UFC 260 Preview: Sean O’Malley – Thomas Almeida

Sean O'Malley

Tomorrow night on the UFC 260 main card, we will see a highly anticipated bantamweight matchup. One of the young stars in the sport, “Suga” Sean O’Malley (12-1), is making his return against Thomas Almeida (22-4).

The last time we saw The Suga Show as back at UFC 252. O’Malley took on Chito Vera in the co-main event. Early on in the fight, I was encouraged by what I saw out of O’Malley.

His speed and feints were giving Vera issues and it looked like we could be heading towards another O’Malley win. However, Vera started to land some nasty calf kicks and one completely deadened the leg of O’Malley.

O’Malley proceeded to roll his ankle a few times and Chito capitalized to get the TKO win. It was the first loss for O’Malley, but there’s still a lot of UFC hype behind him. Prior to that loss, O’Malley had two TKO wins in 2020 after a two year layoff.

O’Malley is going to be looking to get back on track against Thomas Almeida. A few years ago, many were looking at Thomas Almeida as a future UFC champion. Almeida was 21-1 heading into a matchup with Cody Garbrandt.

Garbrandt ended up starching Almeida on his run to becoming UFC champion. Since then, Almeida has gone just 1-3 inside the octagon. The last time we saw him was back in October where he dropped a decision to Jonathan Martinez.

UFC 260 Prediction

When it comes to the hype around Almeida from a few years ago, I’m not sure it was really warranted. He had an incredible record, but a lot of that was padded. When the competition level really turned up, we saw him falter in the UFC.

However, you could also question the competition level of O’Malley. Now, when it comes to their skillsets, I really like Sean O’Malley. He’s longer, he’s crisper on the feet and he has very good skills on the ground that we really haven’t seen.

For Almeida to be successful at UFC 260, he needs to go right after O’Malley’s legs. Attack the lead calf and take the Chito Vera strategy. If he can’t, I think he’s going to get picked apart.

In addition to losing, we’ve also seen Almeida’s chin look incredibly suspect. If O’Malley lands clean tomorrow night, I think it’s over. In the end, I think O’Malley is going to get back on track with a TKO win at UFC 260.

Prediction: “Suga” Sean O’Malley by TKO – Round 1

UFC books Sean O’Malley – Thomas Almeida

Sean O'Malley

The Suga Show is back. The UFC has finalized a matchup between “Suga” Sean O’Malley (12-1) and Thomas Almeida (22-4). O’Malley announced the news on his YouTube page last night and said that the fight was booked for UFC 260 at the end of March.

While O’Malley has a huge following with a lot of hype, several years ago, Thomas Almeida was a prospect with ton of hype. In 2016, Thomas Almeida was 21-0 and he looked like he was going to be a force in the UFC‘s bantamweight division.

That’s when the promotion booked him against Cody Garbrandt. At the time, Garbrandt and Almeida entered the contest as unbeaten prospects. However, only one of them looked elite on the night that they fought.

Almeida was knocked out by Cody Garbrandt in the first round. Thomas Almeida did bounce back later in the year with a knockout of Albert Morales. However, that’s the last time he’s tasted victory inside the octagon.

We’ve only seen Almeida in the UFC three times since 2017 and he’s lost all three. He just returned back in October for the first time since January of 2018 and dropped a decision to Jonathan Martinez.

UFC’s Suga Show

As we were going through 2020, it appeared that the sky was the limit for the Suga Show. Sean O’Malley had two years off with some USADA issues, but returned with two vicious knockouts in the first half of the year.

Many were saying that he would be challenging for a UFC title at some point in 2021. However, that was all derailed when he took on Chito Vera back at UFC 252 in August. O’Malley looked very good when the fight started.

Vera was biting hard on feints, but halfway through the round, Vera started finding success. He ended up landing a calf kick that deadened the leg of O’Malley. O’Malley ended up rolling his ankle a number of times after.

Seeing the wounded O’Malley in front of him, Chito went in for the kill and got the stoppage. In all honesty, if O’Malley was going to lose, it was the most ideal situation. He didn’t get outclassed or dominated so his brand really didn’t suffer.

Now, we will see his return at UFC 260. This fight is so interesting because Almeida needs to win to keep his spot in the UFC while O’Malley needs to win to regain some steam. It’s honestly a must-win fight for both of these bantamweights in March.