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UFC 250 card: Sean O’Malley vs Eddie Wineland full fight preview

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight knockout artists Eddie Wineland and Sean O’Malley will battle this Saturday (June 6, 2020) at UFC 250 from inside UFC APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.

It’s been 14 years since Wineland captured the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) title and seven since he challenged for the UFC strap, but Wineland keeps on keeping on. Though he’s seen his ups-and-downs in the last few years, Wineland remains a dangerous veteran with thunder in his hands. Wineland represents an overdue step up in competition for O’Malley, who has already scored a dominant trio of UFC wins. There’s a massive amount of hype behind “Suga Show,” fueled by both his fan-friendly fighting style and personal flair.

Let’s take a closer look at the keys to victory for each man:

Eddie Wineland

Record: 24-13-1
Key Wins: Frankie Saenz (UFC on FOX 20), Takeya Mizugaki (UFC on FOX 22), Brad Pickett (UFC 155), Grigory Popov (UFC 238)
Key Losses: John Dodson (UFC Fight Night 108), Bryan Caraway (UFC on FOX 16), Johny Eduardo (UFC Fight Night 40), Renan Barao (UFC 165)
Keys to Victory: Wineland is a really slick boxer. He fights with his hands low, relying on strong footwork and feints to keep him safe. Wineland excels at finding openings for his heavy right hand, often with pull counters or by taking an angle before initiating his combination.

Wineland moves his feet well, but he has struggled in the past with evasive foes. John Dodson, for example, managed to confound Wineland with his speed, avoiding Wineland’s preferred pocket entirely by skirting around the outside until he exploded at a time of his own choosing.

Against a rangy out-fighter in O’Malley, finding his way into the pocket will be essential to Wineland’s success. O’Malley does a nice job of leaning back to avoid strikes, which means Wineland needs to shift his targets. Throwing his crisp cross at the mid-section rather than face greatly improves his odds of landing, and following his combinations with a chopping low kick would help cut off the cage.

If Wineland can get close consistently, he’s in great position to score the upset.

Sean O’Malley

Record: 11-0
Key Wins: Jose Alberto Quinonez (UFC 248), Terrion Ware (TUF 26 Finale), Andre Soukhamthath (UFC 222)
Key Losses: None
Keys to Victory: O’Malley is a very creative kickboxer. Despite no official traditional martial arts background, “Suga” moves with a great deal of Karate influence. His kicks are hard and varied, O’Malley can send a heavy cross down the middle, and he overall just controls distance very well.

Wineland is a much more dangerous offensive threat than any of O’Malley’s past opponents. However, he is also not impossible to hit, and at 35 years of age, Wineland has endured a great deal of damage over his 17-year professional career. Like him or not, O’Malley hits pretty damn hard, so the recipe for an early, crowd-pleasing KO is there.

Wineland moves his head well overall, but he also has a habit of stepping forward with straight punches while keeping his head high. That’s a critical opportunity for O’Malley, who’s proven himself quite good at slipping off the center line with an overhand of his own.

Bottom Line

This fight will be a ton of fun.

Wineland has settled into a gatekeeper to the top 15 role, and there’s nothing wrong with that. He’s still plenty sharp and dangerous, but he’s been in the game for so long that a title run is almost impossible. As such, facing a hyped prospect like O’Malley in a likely action fight is a perfect use of his time, but the end result won’t change his position all that much either way.

Obviously, the stakes are higher for the up-and-comer. O’Malley has built himself to the point where his following will not disintegrate with a single loss, but it would definitely hurt. Currently, O’Malley is on the fast track towards the top of the division, and staying on that path requires knocking off a former champion.

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 250 fight card this weekend, starting with the ESPN+/Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN+/ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 250: “Nunes vs. Spencer” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

At UFC 250, Eddie Wineland and Sean O’Malley will open the main card. Which figher will remain standing when the dust settles?

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