Looking at it on paper, it’s easy for any casual fan to be impressed by Sean O’Malley’s UFC record. 16-1 (with 1 NC), 11 wins by knockout. All of his seven UFC wins earned him an extra $50K for performance bonuses.
But one of his former opponents Marlon Vera took the time to dissect and essentially trash “Sugar” Sean’s record.
Sean O’Malley’s UFC record goes under Marlon Vera’s microscope
“O’Malley can say whatever the f—k he says. The two guys that have been in the top five that beat him were me, I put him out.
“Pedro Munhoz has been around and he’s a top-five caliber guy. Poked him in the eye, the fight was a No Contest. On a fight where he didn’t show anything. You got the opportunity to fight somebody in the top like that, you try to go and smoke him.”
‘Chito’ slams the ‘B-Level’ competition that Sean O’Malley beat
Vera went further down Sean O’Malley’s résumé and continued his probe. He picked out some of the names one-by-one to try and prove his point further.
“The B-level competition, yeah he put all of them out,” Vera said. “Almeida was washed probably a lot of times. He wasn’t washed up. He was super washed up. Eddie Wineland, respect to the guy, he’s a legend. But he got KOd three more times? Then the green-haired kid (Kris Moutinho), couldn’t win a fight in the UFC.
“I get it. You got talent, you got all this hype. Fighting-wise? You didn’t fight nobody.”
Sean O’Malley’s most recent victory was against former champion Petr Yan, a fight where he said he had to “dig deep” to get the split decision nod. Vera gave credit where it was due, but for everything else, he remains underwhelmed.
“Yes, you looked good in the Yan fight. People were expecting less from you. He could still fight. But how good is he? Who’d he beat? Who’s he been in a fight with?
“That one-punch thing won’t last forever. We saw it with Johny Hendricks, maybe in three, four fights. And after that…?
“Once you fight a better caliber of guys, it just won’t happen like that.”
Looking at the matchup on paper, Vera sees no way for Sean O’Malley to defeat Aljamain Sterling. But in the off-chance that he does, the number six-ranked Vera sees it as an upside for him, as he expects to be next in line for a title shot, especially if he beats Henry Cejudo that same night.
“On paper, it’s hard to think O’Malley’s gonna win (against Sterling). But he could, and that would only benefit me.”
Sean O’Malley’s lone defeat was against Vera at UFC 252 in 2020. But in the 28-year-old fighter’s mind he never lost.
Vera unsure if Henry Cejudo shows up at UFC 292
The UFC may have announced the bout between Cejudo and Vera, but there also are reports citing a possible injury on “Triple C.” But from his end, Vera will show up on fight night, whether the former double-champ does or not.
“I’m not the type that goes into the digging — I don’t give two f–ks. If he signs the contract, and he shows up on Aug. 19, epic. If not, I don’t give a f–k. Somebody else will, and it doesn’t matter if it’s him or anybody else.”
Right before the Aljmain Sterling-Sean O’Malley headliner is another title fight between strawweight champion Zhang Weili and Amanda Lemos. Also part of the card is the return of former middleweight champion Chris Weidman, who faces Brad Tavares.
UFC 292 takes place on August 19th at the TD Garden in Boston.
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