In the main card opener of UFC 264, O’Malley went one-on-one with Moutinho. Initially, O’Malley was scheduled to face Louis Smolka but Smolka ended up suffering an injury. Moutinho stepped up to the plate and shared the Octagon with O’Malley.
Moutinho showed heart throughout the fight, eating some of O’Malley’s biggest shots. Moutinho was rocked several times in the fight and was even dropped but he never stopped competing. Referee Herb Dean decided to step in late in the last round and stop the bout much to the chagrin of fight fans who wanted to see Moutinho make it to the final horn.
There were a lot of strong opinions on Dean’s stoppage. During the post-fight press conference, White made it clear that he didn’t have an issue with it.
“I think it could have been stopped three minutes before that. He could have stopped it in the second round. That fight could have and should have been stopped at any moment. I had no problem with that stoppage.”
O’Malley has now won two straight bouts since suffering the first pro MMA loss of his career to Marlon Vera. While O’Malley has expressed interest in bouts with Petr Yan, Cody Garbrandt, and Dominick Cruz, the “Sugar” show believes Rob Font is the most realistic option.
As for Moutinho, it’s safe to say the UFC brass is pleased with him. He along with O’Malley earned extra $75,000 checks for “Fight of the Night.”