Sugar Sean O’Malley gets special treatment
The UFC just did something very unusual for Sean O’Malley. For years one of the consistent hallmarks of the UFC was their aggressive stinginess with fight footage. The world’s largest MMA promotion has, all throughout their history left a wake of suspended Twitter accounts and cease & desist demands against fans and publications that dare to post highlight clips and videos from their events.
That stance has softened a bit in recent years. The ESPN era has meant that there are often more highlight videos released into the world wide web via official outlets, and less interest in nuking accounts that might happen to post one of their own. It’s still a rare day, however, when the UFC gets as free with their fight footage as they have following UFC 292.
UFC releases full second round from UFC 292 main event
It seems to be a testament to the promotion’s belief in newly crowned champion Sean O’Malley’s star power that the UFC has released not just a highlight, but the full final round of action from their latest PPV main event.
O’Malley picked up a massive TKO victory over the Serra-Longo talent to seal his steady rise from Contender Series prospect to bantamweight title holder. After a somewhat cautious opening round of action that saw Aljamain Sterling pick up the round on all three judges cards, Sterling looked for a single leg takedown early in the second frame.
He didn’t get it, but landed a solid combination as he exited the pocket. That success seemed to give Sterling the confidence that he should start pressuring O’Malley more, which meant lunging across open space with a couple wild shots that put him badly off balance, and right in the way of a huge counter right hand. A few followup shots and it was all over.
Sean O’Malley was nursing a serious injury
It’s too bad for Aljamain Sterling that he couldn’t get that takedown he was pressing for. Had he been able to actually put O’Malley on the mat, the fight very well might have been over. Following his victory, ‘Sugar’ Sean admitted that he had come into the fight with a pretty serious rib injury.
“I was the main event in Boston. There was no shot I was pulling out,” O’Malley told reporters after the fight, “but we haven’t grappled. Six weeks from today I got a muscle strain right under my rib. Coming into this fight against Aljo, every interview I was saying ‘it was life or death—I cannot get taken down.’ It was because I didn’t know if this would hold up.”
“It’s sore right now. I don’t know if it’s from a kick or just the little bit of grappling that we did,” he added.
Despite how close he seemingly came from defending his belt for the fourth time, however, Sterling seems like he’s in high spirits after his loss.
“I’m more than alright,” Sterling wrote in a post to his Instagram. “I have everything I need right here! Thank you for all the messages. I truly feel the love and support in this crappy moment in time. But one thing I know is that it’ll pass and I’ll be back on the horse again doing what I love! Chase your dreams and try your best with anything that you do.”
No word yet on just who O’Malley might face next inside the Octagon, but it seems like a battle against Sterling teammate Merab Dvalishvili has got to be on the near horizon. Dvalishvili is fresh off his own victory over Petr Yan back in March, his 9th straight win. He also holds a notable victory over O’Malley’s wardrobe, a score the new champ has yet to settle.
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