“The ‘Suga’ Show” was back on full display on Saturday night, after Sean O’Malley turned in an impressive win before revealing a serious injury in training camp.
Sean O’Malley showed once again why the people love to see him fight after a first round knockout win against Raulian Paiva on the main card opener of UFC 269, in a fight that will likely project him into the official rankings.
In his post-fight interview, O’Malley disclosed that he had suffered a rib injury in camp that almost caused him to pull out from the bout, but instead the 27-year-old pushed past the pain and went on to win.
“I literally think if he were to have taken me down and I tried to get up, I don’t know what would’ve happened,” O’Malley said at a post-fight news conference. “I didn’t spar for the past three weeks. I was grappling. The guy had a body lock, he had my back, had a body lock. I went to turn. He squeezed at the same time. Nothing crazy, just grappling and I don’t really know what exactly happened. Rib injuries, if you’ve ever had a rib injury, they’re just so annoying. They take a while, but I let it chill for about a week.”
As a result of the injury, O’Malley ended up doing very limited grappling during his training and trusted in his ability to not get into close quarters in grappling exchanges.
“I just ran and hit mitts and then tried to grapple again that next week. I couldn’t do the simplest grappling,” said O’Malley. “For the last three weeks, I didn’t grapple at all. I didn’t even test it. I didn’t even want to. I didn’t want to do any clinch work. I didn’t do anything. I came into this fight, planning on him not being able to touch me and just being confident and trusting the work I’ve put in. I’m really proud of myself for having the mindset to be able to come in here and know that.”
Despite the injury, O’Malley was able to pull off a fantastic victory and “The Sugar Show” rolls on until the next big fight. Well, it seems like O’Malley is going to bask in victory for a while at least, having had a busy 2021 with three spectacular wins, all by KO finish.
“I fought three times last year,” O’Malley said. “I fought three times this year. I feel like every day I have a fight coming up. I feel like I’m just going to enjoy this and try to not book a fight and just enjoy being with my family and my little princess. I’m sure I’ll fight in March (or) April. Who will it be? I don’t know. It doesn’t really matter. As long as ‘The Suga Show’ is fighting, I don’t think people will care too much who I’m fighting.”
After bursting onto the UFC scene through Dana White‘s Contender Series, O’Malley has caught the attention of the world with his flamboyant style inside and outside the Octagon. His exciting style of spinning kicks, punching power, and highlight-reel knockouts have made him a must-watch for fans of the sport.
Despite all the fame and success that has come upon the 27-year-old, it seems that O’Malley still has so much to show in his career. Many people forget that he is still unranked in the bantamweight division and has not yet faced the best of the best. Though many suspect the young fighter will be ranked after Saturday’s performance. The sky is the limit for O’Malley, and it will be interesting to see what he will go on to accomplish in the sport of MMA when it’s all said and done.
Many in the MMA community believe O’Malley is the next big thing and could reach the popularity height of perhaps Conor McGregor. No one has been able to reach that level of fame, but if anyone has a good chance, it might just be O’Malley.
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