O’Malley’s lone defeat in the UFC came courtesy of Marlon Vera at UFC 252. It was a controversial TKO finish in which O’Malley suffered a nasty injury and ended up leaving the UFC Apex on a stretcher after injuring his leg.
During a recent interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, O’Malley opened up on why he still considers himself undefeated despite the Vera loss.
“Yeah, I mean, that fight, I didn’t feel like I lost because his (Vera) skills were better,” O’Malley said. “I don’t think he truly, truly thinks he won that fight. The way that fight played out. it’s a rare occasion that that happens. Look at how many times I got kicked in the leg last fight against Kris (Moutinho), how many times I got kicked in the leg against Thomas (Almeida); you didn’t see my whole leg go completely numb from their toes or their shins.”
“It was a crazy thing that happened,” O’Malley continued. “I don’t feel like, mentally, I lost that fight. I go out there, have a rematch, and he beats me in a decision or finishes me fair and square, I have no issue saying I lost the fight. I lose in sparring, I lose in grappling. I’m not worried about losing. I just don’t feel like I lost that fight and a lot of people hate that I say that.”
Sean O’Malley Remains One Of The Top UFC Prospects
O’Malley has managed to rebound nicely from his loss to Vera, earning back-to-back finishes over Kris Moutinho and Thomas Almeida. His fight against Moutinho, in particular, opened many fans’ eyes as to how dominant O’Malley can be in the striking department.
Despite the strong start to O’Malley’s MMA career, he has yet to enter the UFC bantamweight rankings. This is mostly due to his level of competition to date, but that could change sooner rather than later.
O’Malley has recently called for a fight against Dominick Cruz next, as both get ready to compete on the same card. If he’s able to get past a tough Paiva at UFC 269, he could finally earn a spot in the stacked bantamweight rankings.
What are your thoughts on Sean O’Malley’s comments?