Sean O’Malley suffered the first loss of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career at the hands of Marlon Vera at UFC 252 in Aug. 2020. But, “Suga” still isn’t accepting defeat because he is adamant that if he hadn’t suffered a leg injury in the fight, he would’ve had his hand raised. Indeed, Vera won via technical knockout, but seven months removed from the defeat, O’Malley won’t bring himself to say he “lost” to a better fighter. That’s why he says he is mentally in a good spot ahead of his comeback fight against Thomas Almeida this weekend (Sat., March 27, 2021) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“Eventually, I’m going to lose – I’m not worried about not losing,” O’Malley told MMA Fighting during the UFC 260 media day. “I do jiu-jitsu with some really good people, I train with really good people. I lose in the gym. Losing’s not that big of a deal really. One of these days, I’m going to lose a fight, and hopefully it’s not going to be due to an injury. It’s going to be however it ends and it’s going to be fine.
“The way I lost that last fight, it wasn’t because he was a better fighter, [or] he was more skilled,” he continued. “How many leg kicks have been thrown from when that happened until now, and how many times has that happened where you got drop foot? He didn’t take me down. My leg completely gave out, and I landed on my back. It happened like that, it is what it is, but it doesn’t affect me at all going into this fight. In my mind, [I’m] 12-0 coming off the Eddie [Wineland] fight, and I’m in a good spot. I’m mentally in a really good spot. I feel good.”
Despite his persistence, O’Malley is not undefeated and the record books will forever show that. That said, one has to wonder if he is mind was 100 percent clear, he would have put Vera in his rearview mirror, accepted the “O” on his record and put all of his focus on Almeida, who is still a dangerous threat despite three straight defeats.
Nevertheless, O’Malley will look to avoid going 0-2 in his last two outings this weekend in “Sin City.”