The ‘Sugar Show’ is now preparing for his 9th UFC fight in the Bantamweight division (8-1 in the UFC) as he faces off against #15 ranked Raulian Paiva (21-3 overall) at UFC 269 on December 11th.
O’Malley who is currently riding a 2 fight win streak with victories over the likes of Thomas Almeida (3rd round KO) and Kris Moutinho (3rd round TKO), is one of the most popular fighters on the UFC roster, as his charisma and fan-friendly style quickly made him one of the most popular fighters to come off Dana Whites Contender Series. As a pro Sean has only suffered one loss when he suffered an ankle injury in a fight against Marlon Vera in 2020. Sugar has shown some of the most diverse striking in his division as he often shows unconventional moves that at times leaves his opponents frozen in their tracks and unable to counter the speed and footwork that he utilizes.
The one knock that some of Sean’s critics do bring up constantly is the lack of top competition that has been available since his debut for the organization in 2017. Of the 8 victories in the UFC only names like Eddie Wineland and Thomas Almeida have been considered name worthy victories and as previously mentioned his fight vs “Chito” Vera was going to be his introduction to a top-level opponent. as one of the most followed and talked about fighters on social media and pop culture, Sean has been linked with fights with names like # 11 Dominick Cruz, #8 Frankie Edgar, and #7 Cody Garbrandt. However, none of these fights has materialized and it’s been nothing but rumours and online trash talks. Fans have been expecting more of a challenge for such a capable fighter, but is it really Sean’s fault, or is the UFC building a star and then a contender. Plus we do not know if the money he is being offered while he is nearing his last contractual fight.
This next fight VS Raulian is Seans first fight against a ranked fighter in the division and could possibly be a stepping stone into deeper waters for the talented fighter.