Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping believed the “natural” next fight for bantamweight star Sean O’Malley was not Petr Yan, but rather Pedro Munhoz again.
At UFC 276 earlier this month, O’Malley appeared set for his toughest test to date in the form of Pedro Munhoz, a man whom “Sugar” had hoped to add to the win column of his record to help elevate him into the top 10.
But after a tentative opening round, which went the way of the Brazilian on two scorecards, the fight came to a sudden and anticlimactic halt in the second when an O’Malley eye poke rendered Munhoz unable to continue. It was later discovered that he’d suffered a corneal abrasion.
With the fight waved off as a result of what referee Jason Herzog ruled to be an accidental foul, both men left Las Vegas with a no contest added to their résumés. Given the way that the fight ended, UFC color commentator Bisping argued that the pair should’ve been re-booked for a definitive result.
During a recent episode of his Believe You Me podcast shortly before the O’Malley/Yan fight announcement, Bisping assessed O’Malley’s place in the bantamweight division following his NC versus Munhoz.
In line with comments, he made about continuing the rising star’s slow build, “The Count” suggested that it made sense to re-book O’Malley against “The Young Punisher.”
“O’Malley, we saw him at UFC 276, and there was an eye poke and it ended prematurely, and that was a shame,” Bisping said. “In my mind, the natural thing that they should do is run that fight back. It never really got started. Yes, I know we got to the second round, but they were still kind of feeling each other out. It never really started. There was an eye poke and it ended.
“I think they should run that back. I was very intrigued as to who would win that. Munhoz was doing alright, he was doing alright,” Bisping continued. “Two out of three (scorecards), he was up, definitely. But it seems like mentally, O’Malley has moved on.”
Indeed, O’Malley has moved on, with the 27-year-old facing the toughest test of his career in Petr Yan at UFC 280 this September.
Do you agree with Michael Bisping? Should Sean O’Malley and Pedro Munhoz have been rebooked?