Welcome to the Suga Show

UFC 292 is in the books and what an incredible card top to bottom, topped off with a truly star-making moment and performance from your new Bantamweight champion “Suga” Sean O’Malley. After initially bursting onto the scene during season one of the Contender series six years ago I don’t think many people believed he would be a world champion when he welcomed us all to the “Suga Show” but here we are all these years later and his dream has become a reality. It was almost 6:30 AM in the UK where I reside when the fight finished but I was not left disappointed, in fact, I was thrilled to see one of my favourite fighters realise world championship glory.

Not many people picked Suga to get the job done tonight, particularly due to Sterling’s grappling prowess. Suga managed to stuff two takedowns early and found the TKO in the second round, he later revealed in the post-fight press conference that he’d suffered a rib injury six weeks out from the fight and had not grappled once since that day, truly incredible. You could see the nerves on the face of Sean O’Malley as he made the walk but he kept his emotions in check and delivered on what’s truly the biggest of stages. I loved the walkout song of choice from Sean with the lyrics “ If you are what you say are a superstar, Then have no fear, the cameras here” From the track “Superstar” the lyrics couldn’t have felt more relevant to a man that has been saying this would happen for years, bravo.

Although this Sunday is all about the new  Bantamweight champion Sean O’Malley and the beginning of the “Suga Era” it’s worth mentioning the streak Aljamain Sterling had put together on route to the title and the names he has defended it against prior to UFC 292 in Boston. He will truly go down as one of the very best Bantamweights that’s ever graced the octagon with victories against the likes of Henry Cejudo, TJ Dillashaw, Petr Yan and Cory Sandhagen just to name a few. The question now for Aljo is will his ego allow him to step up to Featherweight on a loss or will he attempt another brutal weight cut and stay down at Bantamweight, Only time will tell.

As previously mentioned above, Sean is one of my favourite fighters and a big part of the reason I became obsessed with this sport. Not your typical fighter or hard man by any stretch of the imagination, just a highly skilled mixed martial artist with incredible dedication and self-belief. Of course, he also has an incredible team around him and has a lot going on outside the cage with regular podcasts, merchandise and content being posted on his socials. In closing I just would like to touch on where I believe the “Suga Show” takes us next, I loved his post-fight call out of Marlon “Chito” Vera who is the man responsible for the only loss on Sean’s record. This fight makes sense and he called for it in December of this year so it’s one to look forward to potentially. Whatever he does next I can’t wait and I’ll be watching no matter what he decides to do. 

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