Sean O’Malley emerged as the bantamweight champion at UFC 292 earlier this Saturday by dethroning the long-reigning champion Aljamain Sterling with a technical knockout in the 51 seconds of the second round.
Initially, Aljo was touted by many as the favorite to win the fight given his strong ground game and grappling prowess. However, Sean put on a composed performance that eventually aided in his rather dominant early win. Such a performance has impressed many including a famous former MMA fighter turned analyst.
Sean O’Malley won bantamweight title at UFC 292 despite injury
O’Malley was suffering some major injuries leading up to the title fight. Normally any fighter would want to be at his best when he gets his shot at the championship, but Suga probably considered how stacked his division is and how missing the current chance could set him back a while from getting a shot at the strap again.
“I haven’t grappled in six weeks,” O’Malley admitted. “I’ve had a muscle strain, and I literally couldn’t grapple or MMA spar. There was no way I was pulling out, but I had a muscle strain right under my rib. I could not get taken down.” Sean O’Malley added.
Despite the fact that Sean O’Malley was injured and couldn’t spar or grapple for 6 weeks, he didn’t get taken down against Sterling who is considered to be a world-class grappler. “Dealing with those mental demons, knowing I was injured, it was life or death if he took me down. I could not get taken down,” Sean O’Malley added in the post-match interview.
Chael Sonnen sees similarities between O’Malley and Adesanya
Ex-MMA fighter Chael Sonnen was impressed by the display of O’Malley’s skills. “With his style, personality, and fashion sense, The Sugar Show has stood out from most fighters – and he’s been producing the results in the octagon,” he added. The former title challenger also drew comparisons of Sean O’Malley with Israel Adesanya.
“It’s those simple little things that go a long way. I worked with Teddy Atlas this morning, and he made a comparison not to Conor McGregor, he made a comparison with O’Malley to Israel Adesanya that I thought was interesting. I didn’t think about it once Teddy said it, but after he said it, I get that comparison. Yeah, man, his star is on the rise.” he added.
Tell us in the comments what you think about O’Malley, do you also think that Sean is more like Israel Adesanya than Conor McGregor? Do you think he can keep up the pace in the highly competitive 135 lb weight class or he is just a one-time wonder?