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Sean O’Malley next fight: ‘Sugar’ looks for revenge in UFC 299 main event

Some fresh Sean O’Malley next fight news has finally arrived, and the bantamweight champion will main event the company’s pay-per-view card in March. The man he will make his first title defense against is the only fighter in the UFC to hold a win over him.

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Who will Sean O’Malley next fight be against?

After winning his first title fight in August by beating division legend Aljamain Sterling, there was a lot of speculation about who “Sugar” would face in his first title defense. After months of waiting, UFC President Dana White revealed in October that he will battle Marlon Vera in the headliner of UFC 299 in March.

How to watch O’Malley vs. Vera II in March

  • O’Malley vs. Vera 2 will headline a pay-per-view card on March 9
  • The fight will take place inside the Kaseya Center in Miami, Florida
  • The card will air exclusively on ESPN+ pay-per-view for a price of $79.99

Sean O’Malley vs. Marlon Vera II preview

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

O’Malley has lost just once during his MMA career, and that came to Vera in August 2020 by first-round TKO. While it is debatable if “Chito” deserves this opportunity, his friendly fight style and previous win over the champion make the bout an easy sell to diehard and casual fight fans.

The first fight: The first fight between the 135-pound stars did not last nearly as long as fans hoped. During the just over four-minute long fight, O’Malley seemed like the more technical fighter, however, Vera found a clear path to victory in leg kicks early.

The calf kicks ended up being damaging and led to a fight-ending injury for O’Malley and derailed his hype train for a year.

Who has gotten better since?: Both men have gotten better since their first fight and they are considered two of the five best bantamweights on Earth. However, while Vera got better at finishing fights, on a technical level, O’Malley has become a pound-for-pound level talent.

Yet, while he is the better fighter, he probably was back in 2020 too, and in the end, that didn’t help him get the win.

  • Sean O’Malley vs. Marlon Vera betting odds: O’Malley (-225), Vera (+185)

The bottom line: This is a very important moment in the career of “Sugar.” He is on the cusp of legitimate superstar status and a second straight loss to Vera would seriously damage his value with MMA fans. If he can get revenge against “Chito” definitively, it would stamp his place as not just the top guy at 135 pounds, but one of the company’s top three most marketable fighters.

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

sean o'malley next fight
Credit: Bob DeChiara-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: 17-1-1 (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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