Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Sean O’Malley Next Fight: Potential Opponents, Timeline

Sean O’Malley’s next fight remains a hot topic of conversation in the MMA world.

Malley hopes to continue his three-fight winning streak during his next outing in the octagon.

O’Malley Beat Raulian Paiva at UFC 269

“Sugar” Sean’s most recent victory took place back in December at the UFC 269 pay-per-view.

O’Malley picked up a decisive victory over Raulian Paiva. After landing a barrage of strikes, the referee stopped the fight in the first round (TKO). His record improved to 15-1 (the one loss was against Marlon Vera at UFC 252 in 2020).

The win over Paiva improved O’Malley’s standing in UFC, improving his position to the 12th rank in the company’s Bantamweight division. That fight was a test, but he rose to the occasion.

Before UFC 269, UFC President Dana White said O’Malley isn’t ready to face top opponents. Afterward, he was singing a different tune.

Potential Opponents for the Sean O’Malley Next Fight

Sean O'Malley

As Sean O’Malley climbs the ranks, the attention turns to what’s next for him. The UFC has not yet announced Sean O’Malley’s next opponent, but we can take search the bantamweight division and see who are the likely possibilities.

Here are the top five fighters we feel could be Sean O’Malley’s next opponents:

Pedro Munhoz
Image Credit: Dave Mandel of Sherdog.com

Sean O’ Malley Wants to Fight Pedro Munhoz

On his Twitch Channel, Sean O’ Malley revealed he’s interested in fighting Pedro Munhoz at UFC 274 on May.7 at the Footprint Center in Pheonix, Arizona. A fight against Munhoz could be his most challenging fight to date. “I’m thinking Pedro (Munhoz), but we will see. I’m going to make sure I can f*****g train full time, and my f*****g s**t feels good,” said O’Malley (h/t BJPenn.com).

Pedro Munhoz wants to get back into the win column after decision losses to Dominick Cruz at UFC 269 and Jose Aldo at UFC 265 on Aug. 7, 2021. Munhoz is ranked 9th in the division, despite losing 2-fights in a row. While Munhoz is trying to rebound from his failure, O’Malley could attempt to challenge his position in the division. 

Sean O Malley
Sean O’Malley (Image Credit: Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Other Possible Opponents for Sean O’ Malley

  • Ricky Simon is ranked 13th in the bantamweight division. However, he boasts more-recent impressive wins than Sugar. He defeated Raphael Assuncao at UFC Vegas 45 by 2nd round TKO. A win for either Simon or O’Malley may potentially lead to a fight against an opponent ranked higher than them.
  • Frankie Edgar is a good test for O’ Malley to fight a former UFC champion. The UFC likes to put younger talent against veterans. Edgar is hoping to rebound from two straight knockout losses. A potential win over Edgar would add an impressive name to O’ Malley’s record.
  • Raphael Assuncao is falling down the UFC bantamweight rankings with three straight losses. However, he is still ranked 15th in the division and has fought some of the best bantamweights in the company. His employers might try to test O’Malley’s skills against a veteran that seems to be on the decline.

Sean O’Malley has the potential to be a champion in the UFC. It’s only a matter of time before O’Malley crosses paths with one of the men listed above. A victory, especially a first-round victory like his last fight, would put him on the fast track to a title shot.

When is Sean O’Malley’s Next Fight?

Sean O'Malley

Although, he soundly defeated Paiva at UFC 269, fans thought they’d have to wait to see Sean O’Malley’s next fight. After the fight, the medical suspension revealed that he was dealing with a hand injury to keep him from fighting until June. 

However, O’ Malley hopes to make his UFC return for UFC 274. He wants to fight Munhoz, but he’s unsure if it will happen. The UFC could also have a different opponent and date for Sean O’ Malley’s return.

He has his sights on his division’s championship, currently held by Aljamain Sterling. The Funk Master defends the gold against Petr Yan at UFC 273 on Saturday, April 9, 2022.

Plans for a Fat Contract & “Killing Spree” in 2023

Sean O'Malley

Sean O’Malley has big plans for his fighting career and is biding his time until he can unleash himself. Ideally, he would fight three times per year. Unfortunately, an injury got in the way. He might only get the chance to fight twice in 2022.

In January 2022, O’Malley spoke about his plans on his Suga Sunday Service podcast. The 27-year-old said he would spend the rest of this year getting healthy improving his skills.

Next year, he plans to sign a new big-money contract with the UFC and show the world just how dangerous he can be.

“I’m not too worried about it. Ideally, I get three fights in a year,” said O’Malley. “That’s kind of where my head’s at. I don’t know if it’s more money or if it’s… I think it’s competition, I love competing. But I just want to get back in the gym and improve.”

“So if I only fight two, if I get one in July and November or December, I might only get two this year. Fight out the contract, and then boom, into 2023 with a fat f*cking contract and just go on a killing spree.”

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