Thomas Almeida believes his next opponent, Sean O'Malley, needs to reassess himself and face reality. O'Malley does not seem to accept the fact of his first professional loss.
Winning his first 12 fights in a row, O'Malley was defeated for the first time by Marlon Vera at UFC 252 in 2020. But 'Sugar' won't count the fight as a loss.
O'Malley called the setback 'an accident' and said that he still feels undefeated. Questioned about his opponent's behavior during the media day ahead of UFC 260, Thomas Almeida analyzed the situation:
"Yeah, man, it's kind of funny, you know. He needs to face the problem, face the defeat, and try to get better. Try to improve, not by saying those things. But, it's his life, you know, I'm not here to judge or to comment on his life, you know. But I treat those things differently," Thomas Almeida said.
'Thominhas' also joined the UFC with an unbeaten record (17-0 at that time). It took him five more matches until he finally tasted a loss via knockout to Cody Garbrandt.
Thomas Almeida and Sean O'Malley are on two distinctive paths in the UFC
While Thomas Almeida started his career in the UFC with an impressive streak, it seems like the first loss affected the Brazilian more than it should.
Since that defeat to Cody Garbrandt, he won the next bout and lost another three in a row. The last victory happened over five years ago.
Sean O'Malley could be heading down the same route. 'Sugar' made his way into the promotion through Dana White's Contender Series and shook the bantamweight division up with his wins.
Even with his first loss, O'Malley continues to make bold claims, promising to become the UFC bantamweight champion one day.
Although 'Sugar' was expecting a more well-ranked adversary for his next bout, he is happy to get into action against Thomas Almeida, who was once seen as a possible title challenger.
"I'm excited about that fight. He is a great kickboxer. In his last three fights, he lost to good people. Like, really good guys. I think he's a legitimate opponent, and I think that he is a dangerous opponent. He's coming off three losses, which can make him even more dangerous. He is going to come ready to go," O'Malley considered in the same media event ahead of UFC 260.