Following the late withdrawal of Louis Smolka, Moutinho stepped up on short notice to debut against one of the UFC’s top rising stars. After a dominant striking display against Thomas Almeida at UFC 260, O’Malley was riding high heading into July’s pay-per-view, and was on the lookout for another highlight reel knockout.
But “Sugar” was taken to deep waters thanks to a remarkably resilient performance by the promotional newcomer. Despite being hit with everything O’Malley had, which came with a level of power that had proved to be too much for the likes of Eddie Wineland and Almeida, Moutinho survived until the final 30 seconds of the third round, and even the stoppage wasn’t without controversy.
After the main card opener, it was announced that O’Malley had broken the record for the most significant strikes landed in a UFC bantamweight contest. Having landed 230 of them, it’s understandable that the 26-year-old has been feeling the effects of the bout.
During a recent interview with The Schmo, O’Malley revealed that his knuckles still ache from hitting Moutinho so much during their clash last month.
“I did a seminar today. And Tim (Welch) and I were teaching something where we punched his hand, his open hand. And my knuckle is just still hurting from that dude’s head. He’s fighting before me, and I beat him up. How does that work?
“My knuckles still hurt from his f**king head,” said O’Malley. (h/t Sportskeeda)
Having burst onto the scene as a new fan favorite in his debut, Moutinho will enter the Octagon for the second time on October 23. The 29-year-old will face Aaron Phillips, who lost his UFC debut last year against Wales’ Jack Shore.
While Moutinho gets set for his next fight, O’Malley is still on the search for his next Octagon opponent. “Sugar” recently revealed that he’d been offered a matchup for UFC 267 at Madison Square garden. But to the dismay of Sean Shelby, O’Malley declined because he isn’t interested in fighting in New York because of the state’s taxes.
Despite calling out the likes of Rob Font and Dominick Cruz following his win at UFC 264, O’Malley recently revealed his intention to continue fighting unranked opponents until he is paid more by the UFC. With Brian Kelleher’s recent win and post-fight callout, perhaps a clash with “Boom” awaits the popular bantamweight star.
Who would you like to see Sean O’Malley face next?