Monday, May 16, 2022

Sean O’Malley Hopes To Return At UFC 274, Names Top-10 Opponent

UFC bantamweight Sean O’Malley has revealed an event and opponent he’s targeting for his first Octagon appearance of 2022.

After suffering his first defeat in 2020, O’Malley made a splash last year, finishing all three of his opponents and collecting a trio of $50,000 bonuses along the way. Having secured a place in the rankings with his first-round victory over Raulian Paiva in December, it appeared 2022 was set to be a big one for “Sugar.”

But while he’d hoped to continue his form and surge up the 135-pound ladder this year, a thumb injury, coupled with a desire to fight at a Las Vegas-held pay-per-view, led fans to believe O’Malley wouldn’t be sighted inside the Octagon until the summer.

Now, during a Monday stream on his Twitch channel, O’Malley has provided an update on his return timeline, and it’s perhaps earlier than most would’ve expected.

Potentially giving up his nine-fight Las Vegas streak, the 26-year-old hinted that his first bout of 2022 could come at UFC 274, which is set to be held on May 7 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Interestingly, the last time O’Malley fought outside of Nevada was five years ago in Phoenix. On that night, he knocked out David Luzzo at LFA 11. He’ll be hoping for a similar result on his return to the city, but if his hopes come to fruition, he’ll be facing his toughest opponent to date, by far.

When asked if he has a name in mind for the event, O’Malley revealed he’s targeting a clash with veteran Brazilian Pedro Munhoz, who is currently ranked three places above the Montana native at #9.

“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)

UFC 274 Set To Be Headlined By LW Title Fight

If a bout between O’Malley and Munhoz is added to the May 7 event, the card will grow in strength.

After a light heavyweight title matchup between Glover Teixeira and Jiří Procházka was pushed back to headline UFC 275, a blockbuster lightweight championship fight between reigning 155-pound king Charles Oliveira and Justin Gaethje is now set to main event in Arizona.

Elsewhere, UFC mainstays Shogun Rua, Ovince Saint Preux, and Donald Cerrone are expected to be in action, along with exciting names like Brandon Royval, Khaos Williams, and Michael Johnson.

While more fights will undoubtedly be announced over the coming weeks and months, fans will certainly now be keeping an eye out for the addition of “Sugar” Sean O’Malley to the PPV.

Would you like to see Sean O’Malley vs. Pedro Munhoz added to the UFC 274 card?

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