Sean O'Malley returned to winning ways at UFC 260 as he knocked out Thomas Almeida in round three. O'Malley walked into the fight on the back of the first loss of his professional career. A loss that he doesn't consider genuine.
'Suga' Sean O'Malley faced Marlon 'Chito' Vera in August 2020 at UFC 252. Although the fight was an exhilarating affair with the two putting up a brilliant striking display, things soon went south for Sean O'Malley.
O'Malley's leg gave away after Marlon Vera connected on the already-worn limb. This caused O'Malley to immediately fall to the ground, and Vera wasted no time in capitalizing on the opportunity.
Marlon Vera engaged in ground-and-pound, slashing O'Malley with devastating elbows. The downed O'Malley was unable to answer Vera's onslaught, and the referee stopped the fight after having seen enough. Marlon Vera went on to win the fight via TKO.
Although the fight was almost a year back, Sean O'Malley maintains that he did not lose to a better fighter that night. The 26-year-old stated that had he not injured his leg, he would've had his hand raised that night. And, although the fight took place almost a year back, Sean O'Malley stands by his stance of being undefeated.
In a recent interview with ESPN's Ariel Helwani leading up to his fight at UFC 260, Sean O'Malley said:
"I think I wasn't beaten that night because my skills weren't as good. Literally, his big toe hit my perennial nerve and it caused drop foot. It wasn't a calf kick. Calf kicks hurt bad, but they don't give you drop-foot. At least not the first one. I didn't feel like I lost because my skills weren't better than this. It just happened that way."
Sean O'Malley could have finished Thomas Almeida in the first round
Sean O'Malley is one of the most dynamic and diverse strikers in the UFC. Thanks to his excellent striking, Sean O'Malley was able to knock Thomas Almeida down in the first round with a precise and swift spinning head kick.
However, accustomed to walk-off KOs, O'Malley did not ensue in ground-and-pound to finish Almeida. As commentators Joe Rogan and Daniel Cormier noted, this slip-up could have cost the American his win.
Nevertheless, Sean O'Malley kept his calm and went on to perform consistently, blitzing Almeida in the third round. This time, he decided to ensure his win by landing one huge punch as Almedia laid on his back.