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Has the O'Malley Train Been Stopped?

Updated on August 17, 2020
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As a massive fight enthusiast and former wrestler Andrew not only watches the fights but is able to break them down and analyse the matches.

The "Suga Show" Will Go On

Yes, the first round stoppage against Chito was a very disappointing loss for Sean. Getting to 12-0 is no small feat, neither is starting 4-0 in the UFC, but the twenty-five year old star accomplished both of those. As discouraging as this loss was, it doesn't do anything to slow down the "Suga Show's" rise.

"Suga" Sean O'Malley
"Suga" Sean O'Malley | Source

"If you're going to kick with a kicker, you better be able to handle the kick."

Marlon "Chito" Vera, post fight interview UFC 252

One Bad Loss

Okay, let's address this loss first. Admittedly, it was a bad loss. Sean finally made the rankings, even if he was low ranked, and a win at UFC 252 would have surely granted him a fight against a mid level challenger. A win over Vera and he easily gets a fight against Raphael Assuncao. If he handily beats Chito, like his previous victories, then it's possible he could've even landed a date with Jose Aldo or Pedro Munhoz. However, a freak injury to the right foot severely limited him. He tried to hide the injury and fight on but you could clearly see him limping. A tough shot from Chito sent him to the canvas. A few mounted blows later and referee Herb Dean called the contest early.

History's record books will always show that Marlon Vera, who was unranked, beat Sean O'Malley via TKO in the first round of UFC 252's co-main event. That will always look like a bad mark on his record. It could look even worse depending on what happens with Vera next. If Vera continues with his winning ways then it will seem as though O'Malley lost to a legitimate contender in waiting. If the UFC does nothing with Vera or if he suffers his own loss or two then it will look like O'Malley lost to just another fighter, or worse.

"I try personally to be a high-level black belt, a high-level wrestler and a high-level striker. Joe Rogan has the best advice, don’t read comments, don’t read

Marlon "Chito" Vera, post fight interview UFC 252

Rebuilding Sean O'Malley

Nobody wants to lose but I really don't think anyone wants their first loss to be like that. Especially when the stage is that big and the lights are that bright. However, Sean "Suga" O'Malley still has the chance to his write his own narrative. At the time of writing this I do not know with 100% certainty what his injury was but it looked like he hurt his foot or ankle. The first step, of course, will be a strong and speedy recovery. He needs to get back to 100% before he can even dream of stepping back into the Octagon. But once he is healed and ready, it's show time.

We've already seen what the "Suga Show" is capable of. We've seen the fights, the performance bonuses, and, most impressively, his one punch knock out. Regardless of how long this injury keeps him out, his name has value and people will want to see him fight. I think the best thing the UFC could do is set up a rematch between Vera and O'Malley. Vera took UFC's love and hype for O'Malley as an insult. Hyping O'Malley's return as a huge deal would likely stoke that fiery anger inside Vera again. The whispers of a fluke win would make him want this fight bad. O'Malley would want this fight to show his true fighting capabilities. Those two mindsets would make this a money mini-feud for the UFC.

Sean showed enough with his previous fights and the way he started his fight with Vera to prove he'd win the rematch. After that win you can easily set him with a top five contender. Strap the rocket to his back and let him face Corey Sandhagen or even possibly Aljamain Sterling. Another win there and he be considered a legitimate contender for a title shot.

The only conflict that could stand in the way is the man they call "Chito" himself. If Vera goes on a winning streak while O'Malley is on the shelf and becomes a contender then maybe you don't go back to the rematch right away. You let Vera do his own thing and feed O'Malley a lesser contender or two. After they've both got some wins then you can revisit the rematch, possibly to determine a new number one contender. Either, this rematch would draw real interest for any pay per view or Fight Night card they put it on.

UFC Bantamweight Rankings

Marlon Moraes
Aljamain Sterling
Cody Garbrandt
Cory Sandhagen
Pedro Munhoz
Jose Aldo
Jimmie Rivera
Raphael Assuncao
Cody Stamann
Rob Font
Dominick Cruz
John Dodson
Song Yadong
Sean O'Malley
Merab Dvalishvili

Current Bantamweight Champion: Peter Yan.

Rankings as of 8/16/20

Sean O'Malley being take out on a stretcher at UFC 252.
Sean O'Malley being take out on a stretcher at UFC 252. | Source

The "Suga Show" Train is Still on Track

As tough as this loss will be to swallow, for Sean and his fans, all will be fine for "Suga." He can take as much time to heal as necessary and get back to training. I'd love to see a rematch with Vera, a proper fight without injuries, so he can pick up where left off. Sean O'Malley has an incredibly bright future ahead of him in the Octagon for UFC. I'm not going to say if he'll be the next Conor McGregor but he does have the skills, swagger, and look to be a star and make the UFC a lot of money. It's going to be a lot fun to watch this kid's journey.

© 2020 Andrew Huzar


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