Sean O’Malley returns to the cage this weekend to face Pedro Munhoz but it seems “Sugar” Sean already has his eyes set on a former champion of the division.
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O’Malley has returned to form by managing three consecutive wins following his stoppage loss to Marlon Vera in 2020. Victories against Thomas Almeida, Kris Moutinho, and then Raulian Paiva, improved his career record to 15-1 and 7-1 in the UFC. “Sugar” Sean has also maintained an impressive stoppage streak, with all five of his last wins coming via knockout.
That streak will be tested this weekend as Munhoz has not been finished in his 27-fight career. Now 1-4 in his last five fights, Munhoz has only been defeated by current or former UFC champions during this time. In 2021, Munhoz was defeated by Dominick Cruz and Jose Aldo and before then he had lost to Frankie Edgar and Aljamain Sterling — some of the most highly respected fighters. His most recent victories include a decision win against Jimmie Rivera last year and a knockout victory against Cody Garbrandt in 2019.
Sean O’Malley vs. Pedro Munhoz is shaping up to be one of the most exciting fights on the UFC 276 fight card and will stream live on the PPV main card.
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Speaking at a UFC 276 press conference, O’Malley was asked what might be next for him in the division if he manages to stop Munhoz this weekend, considering that the bantamweight has never been finished.
“There’s a little Russian dude running around saying that no one wants to fight him — that’s an option,” O’Malley replied to James Lynch. Fob Ront [Rob Font] might be an option, he got beat up a couple of times, so it might not be.
“The division is crazy right now. A lot of guys are already booked, so we’ll just need to see how the fights play out in the next couple of months.
Former champion Petr Yan recently tweeted “no one at 135 wants it” and had instead turned his attention to flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo.
But it didn’t take long for Yan to respond to O’Malley’s comments during UFC 276 fight week as he hit back on Twitter, ‘daring’ O’Malley to call him out if he wins this weekend.
“Hey pink poodle @SugaSeanMMA, if you win on Saturday and really wanna fight me I dare you to call me out and I will accept it. But if you just wanna make useless noise for hype, stop talking about me, coward.”
Hey pink poodle @SugaSeanMMA , if you win on Saturday and really wanna fight me I dare you to call me out and I will accept it. But if you just wanna make useless noise for hype, stop talking about me, coward 🐩
— Petr “No Mercy” Yan (@PetrYanUFC) July 1, 2022
Of course, O’Malley must first make his way past Munhoz at UFC 276. But if the betting odds suggest a sign of things to come, then it looks like we could potentially see O’Malley in the cage with a former champion next.
Watch O’Malley vs. Munhoz and the full UFC 276 fight card live on
Formerly the lead MMA Editor at RealSport.