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Chael Sonnen ponders if check kicks should be "rewarded better" in defense of Sean O'Malley claiming he won Round 1 against Pedro Munhoz

Chael Sonnen (left), Pedro Munhoz vs. Sean O'Malley (right)
Chael Sonnen (left), Pedro Munhoz vs. Sean O'Malley (right)
Will Miles

Chael Sonnen has given his thoughts on the no-contest result between Sean O'Malley and Pedro Munhoz at UFC 276.

The fight was called off midway through the second round after an accidental eye-poke from 'Sugar'. Munhoz looked like he wanted to continue briefly before admitting he couldn't open his eye. The doctor came into the octagon, checked on the Brazilian and waved off the contest, much to the disappointment of O'Malley and the fans.

Post-fight, the 27-year-old claimed he won the first round, despite being informed he didn't. It appeared as though Munhoz was more aggressive than O'Malley. However, 'Sugar' believes he checked almost every kick, which he felt had been enough to give him the round.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Chael Sonnen gave his thoughts on whether checked leg kicks are being rewarded enough:

"This might be a teachable moment from Sean O'Malley... checks hurt, checks are real... This is a step further than leg kicks. This is the check to the kick. If we can all agree that kicks have never quite been scored and shown the respect from the damage they do, then certainly Sean's point is that the defense to that technique is not being seen, scored or rewarded... Are check kicks something that we the community moving forward need to understand and reward better?"
First man to finish Pedro

The two men will likely run the fight back later this year. Munhoz was meant to be the toughest test O'Malley faced in the octagon. Should the pair run it back, a win over 'The Young Punisher' would be the biggest of Sean O'Malley's career.

Watch Chael Sonnen's video discussing Sean O'Malley here:

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Returning Henry Cejudo open to fighting Sean O'Malley

Henry Cejudo's re-entry into the USADA testing pool has put the bantamweight division on notice. Cejudo has made it clear that he plans to recapture his 135lbs title. However, he may have to wait for champion Aljamain Sterling vs. T.J. Dillashaw first.

The self-proclaimed 'King of Cringe' has admitted he'd be open to fighting Sean O'Malley first, in a 'warm up' fight.

During the most recent episode of The Triple C & Schmo Show, the 35-year-old expressed his willingness to face the rising bantamweight prospect:

“Why not, man? I think that would be a good tune-up fight. But the goal for me for Sean is to get rid of him in two rounds. Like, don’t make him go past two rounds. So, that’s my goal. But he wouldn’t take the fight. It’d be his coaches, everybody – I’m stylistically, I’m just too smart, I’m too experienced, I’m too tough, and I’m definitely too damn good-looking.”

'Sugar' and Henry Cejudo reportedly clashed backstage at UFC 276. While it's likely the 27-year-old will first try to settle unfinished business with Munhoz, a win for O'Malley could certainly be a stepping stone to a fight with Cejudo in the future.

Catch the latest episode of The Triple C & Schmo Show here:

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Edited by Aziel Karthak

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