Sean O’Malley next fight: ‘Sugar’ set to face No. 1 contender in UFC return

sean o'malley next fight

The Sean O’Malley next fight news has arrived and the UFC bantamweight champion has revealed his next fight is set and it will come against the hottest fighter in the 135-pound division, Merab Dvalishvili.

Related: UFC tonight – Fight card, betting odds, and watch times for Saturday’s UFC event

Who will Sean O’Malley next fight be against?

After avenging the lone loss of his career with his win at UFC 299, “Sugar” has more big fights in his future as he looks to build a legendary legacy at bantamweight. The next chapter in his legacy build looks to be set as he confirmed in late March that his next opponent will be top contender Merab Dvalishvili. Unfortunately, the champion did not unveil a location or date for the planned bout.

How to watch O’Malley vs. Dvalishvili

  • Sean O’Malley vs. Merab Dvalishvili will headline a UFC card later this year
  • A location for the bout has not yet been determined
  • The event will air exclusively on ESPN+ for a price of $79.99

Sean O’Malley vs. Merab Dvalishvili preview

O’Malley vs. Dvalishvili is a fascinating matchup because not only will the champion face the most deserving fighter in the weight class, but the Georgian has a style that fans have wanted to see “Sugar” be challenged by for his entire UFC career.

A relentless “Machine”: The reason why “The Machine” has a 10-fight win streak that includes victories over three former victories is due to his dominant wrestling. However, what makes his grappling different than others is his relentless approach where he uses a gas tank that doesn’t seem human.

O’Malley has faced few elite grapplers and Dvalishvili will not only test the champ’s wrestling defenses, but his cardio up until the final second of the bout in a way no one has before.

A sniper’s delight: Unlike Aljamain Sterling who is a bit more tactical, Dvalishvili can be risky when using his pressure style. For a fighter like Sean O’Malley that could set up a lot of perfect opportunities for the elite striker. While the challenger is a massive threat, if he is not perfect he could see his night come to an end much faster than he expected.

The bottom line: Dvalshivili has done a great job of building a following over the last two years and this bout is much more of a money fight than it would have been two years ago. The lead-up to the scrap should be fun and it is a matchup of the two best fighters at 135 pounds.

Related: UFC welterweight rankings – Ranking the top 10 170-pound fighters in the world

sean o'malley next fight
Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Sugar Show: O’Malley has become an immediate star in the UFC by being a cocky fighter with the ability to back up his brash boasts nearly every time. He has a fan-friendly fight style and usually gives them what they want. Seeing fighters get physically embarrassed and put to sleep by a destructive striker is a big part of his draw.

  • Sean O’Malley record: 18-1-1 (12 knockouts, 1 submission)
  • Sean O’Malley last fight: TKO win over Aljamain Sterling (bantamweight title fight)
  • Sean O’Malley wife: The UFC star is in an open marriage with Danya Gonzalez
  • O’Malley has 17 career victories, with eight coming in the fabled Octagon. He has a 77% finish rate, with 12 KOs and one submission win as he enters his ninth year as a pro fighter.
  • “Sugar” has sent nine of his opponents home in the first round, including Raulian Paiva, Alfred Khashakyan, and UFC and WEC stalwart Eddie Wineland.
  • His lone loss in the promotion came to Marlon “Chito” Vera at UFC 252 in August 2020. Although the win is listed as a technical knockout loss, O’Malley suffered a freak injury from a Vera kick that made it a little different than typical TKO defeats.

Related: What is Slap Fighting? Everything You Need to Know About this Fast Growing Sport

The Influencer: With his rainbow-colored hairdo and tattoos adorning his body and face, O’Malley is a fighter perfect for the 18 to 32-year-old demographic of UFC fans today. And it shows in his reach on social media platforms.

  • Despite only being in the organization for a few years, O’Malley already has millions of followers across his Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts.
  • Not to be outdone, the multi-talented “Sugar Sean” also has over 650,000 subscribers on his YouTube channel and that is sure to grow even faster after his recent title win.

Sean O’Malley’s net worth

The measure of a fighter’s success is in dollars and cents stacked up from a career in professional fisticuffs. It is still early days for O’Malley, but his net worth as of 2023 is estimated to be as much as $2.2 million.

How tall is Sean O Malley really?

sean o'malley next fight
Credit: Craig Kidwell-USA TODAY Sports

The reigning bantamweight king is actually abnormally tall for the division and is a whopping 5-foot-11. The same height as many welterweights in the UFC.

What style of fighter is Sean O’Malley?

“Sugar” is very much a striking-first fighter. While he can grapple and has shown rock-solid takedown defense he is an elite-level sniper with his hands and feet and has a counter-striking style similar to legends like Anderson Silva and Israel Adesanya.

Does Sean O’Malley do jiu-jitsu?

Yes, like every other MMA fighter Sean O’Malley works on all elements of his grappling, including his Brazilian jiu-jitsu. The word is he has a solid mat game that is very underrated since has to use it so rarely.

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