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Sean O’Malley targeting UFC return in December

Sean O’Malley targeting UFC return in December

Sean O'Malley (R) kicks Andre Soukhamthath during their bantamweight bout during UFC 222

Fans may finally see Sean O’Malley back in action before the end of the year.

The exciting bantamweight hasn’t competed since UFC 222 back in March 2018. He enjoyed a unanimous decision win over Andre Soukhamthath that day, but also suffered a serious foot injury during the fight.

When he was finally cleared to fight at UFC 229 in October, he would then test positive for ostarine. After a six-month suspension that followed from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC), “Sugar” was set to compete against Marlon Vera at UFC 239 last month.

However, he tested positive yet again for ostarine, though this time, it was remnants from his previous failed drug test. He was suspended again by the NSAC, but faced no sanctions from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

So what exactly is the current situation with O’Malley?

“Right now, I have a hearing August 20 in Nevada to get it cleared up,” he told Helen Yee in a recent interview. “A lot of people think I’m suspended by USADA, I’m not. They’ve cleared me to fight, the UFC has cleared me to fight. We just have to get it squared away with the [NSAC] and my lawyer’s telling me, it sounds like it should be done soon.

“I tested positive for ostarine in October and I still had levels in my system for this fight against Chito [Vera] so yeah, getting that figured out.”

Sean O'Malley (L) and Andre Soukhamthath fight during their bantamweight bout during UFC 222
Sean O’Malley (L) and Andre Soukhamthath fight during UFC 222 (Isaac Brekken/Getty Images)

O’Malley is not 100 percent sure when he can return, but he revealed a December return looks likely — which would make it almost two years since he last competed.

“Depending on what they say, it could be a 30 day or a 60 day WADA testing, similar to what they did with Jon Jones,” he added. “They’re telling me, plan to fight in probably December so it’s still a way out but at least it’s finally almost done.

“I would love to fight. It sucks because I turned 24 and I’ll turn 25 before I even get to fight and there’s no reason for it. So if I get a fight before the end of the year, I’ll be happy.”

O’Malley only turned professional in 2015 and competed four times that year as well as four times in 2017. But with just one fight since the start of 2018, the 24-year-old is looking to become active once again.

“I’m used to fighting four times a year but with the injuries, it’s hard to say,” he concluded. “But it’d be nice to fight at least by the end of this year and a couple of times next year.”

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