Shawn O’Malley (L) kicks Marlon Vera during a bantamweight fight at UFC 252 at UFC APEX on March 15. August 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
One of the fastest rising stars in the UFC returns Saturday night.
Sugar bantamweight fighter Sean O’Malley will be in attendance on the March 27th. main card of UFC 260 against Thomas Almeida. With a 12-0 record, including four UFC wins, O’Malley was well on his way to the biggest win of his career last August.
But things didn’t go according to Sugar’s plan. He fought Marlon Chito Vera in the main event at UFC 252 and lost in the first round by TKO. O’Malley injured his leg during the fight and ended up on his back thanks to Cheeto’s relentless elbows.
After the loss, O’Malley claimed that the cause of his defeat was a loosened nerve in his leg, not Vera’s skill. The injury occurred after Cheeto executed a leg kick against Sugar.
O’Malley has a chance to return to action Saturday night with a win over Brazilian Almeida. Almeida (22-4), who began his MMA career at 21-0, has currently lost three fights.
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O’Malley doesn’t care about the criticism he received from some after losing the Cheeto to make more money
Following his loss in August, O’Malley was viewed negatively by some online MMA fans. But Sugar isn’t worried about that, as long as fans keep asking for his content.
I think there are real fans of Sugar, they listen to the podcast, they follow Twitch, they buy my merchandise – a real fan of the show, O’Malley said in a recent interview with Heavy. They are: It’s good, it happens, whatever, blah, blah, blah, you get it.
And then there are the casual MMA fans, who are just s****y people who like to see people fail, who tend to be insecure, anxious and depressed people. They don’t like confident people. They don’t like people like me. So they’re there, in the comments and everything.
Still, O’Malley takes all feedback, positive or negative, in stride.
But really, the more responses the better, O’Malley continued. Whether they are negative or not, sponsors come to me and say: Boy, you have a lot of commitment, you have so many comments. At least they make me money. Well, I don’t mind. If I had to choose [whether there was] something positive or negative about food, of course it would be positive. But if it’s negative, I still get paid. It doesn’t matter.
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O’Malley sees a dangerous opponent in Almeida, who has just lost 3 straight.
Almeida has lost his last three fights to Jonathan Martinez, Rob Font and Jimmy Rivera. Prior to this fight, Sugar recognizes the high level of fighters who have beaten Almeida, so he doesn’t take the Brazilian lightly.
He’s in bad shape, O’Malley said. This is an important fight for him. If he loses this fight, he’ll probably get cut. So it’s a big fight for him.
The guys he lost to were the best, he doesn’t lose to losers. So I don’t think he’s a loser or an unworthy opponent. I think they are a dangerous opponent, especially after their three losses. It’s very round. Good kickboxer. I think he is a very good opponent. A good challenge for me.
O’Malley expects the fight to go to the feet, but he’s ready to use all his mixed martial arts skills.
I think it’s going to be a kickboxing war, O’Malley said. He probably thinks so too. I haven’t seen any of his fights, I don’t think he’s really going to fight. I think it’s gonna be a kickboxing fight.
I’m ready for an MMA fight. I’ve already done fights, I’ve already done MMA rounds, with [people trying to] take me down. I’m ready for an MMA fight, but I think it will be more of a kickboxing fight.
Asked about his prediction of the outcome of the fight, O’Malley said: I’m going to turn off his light. I don’t know if it’s the first, second or third, but I can see his light going out.
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