Since suffering the first and only loss of his career against Marlon Vera at UFC 275 in Aug. 2020, Sean O’Malley has racked up three straight wins to get back some of the momentum he built up coming out of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF).
Up next for “Suga” will be a fight against Pedro Munhoz, the first Top 10 ranked fighter the rainbow-haired striker will have faced in his four-year UFC career. Should O’Malley defeat Munhoz at UFC 276 on July 2, 2022, he wants a rematch against Vera in order to get revenge and earn his first-ever UFC title fight in early 2023.
“Two more finishes and early 2023 I am fighting for the belt whoever has it,” said O’Malley on The MMA Hour. “After this fight, I have to finish Pedro. Say I go out there and finish Pedro then I get a Top 5 guy, whoever it is. It depends on if “Chito” gets a fight booked. I know that’s a fight that I want.”
Vera is coming off a dominant unanimous decision win over Rob Font a few weeks ago, his third straight win. For O’Malley, Vera’s win ruined his chance at fighting Font, but also kept the path going for a potential rematch.
“I was hoping Rob would win that fight because I wanted to fight Rob, but he didn’t But if ‘Chito’ goes out there and beats a Top 5 he could end up getting a title shot. If not then I would like to finish Pedro and then get that fight. In the past I said he has to earn the rematch and I think he’s done that,” said O’Malley, who was very complimentary of Vera despite their bittier rivalry, saying that “Chito” has improved leaps and bounds from their first fight.
Vera’s impressive victory over Font was good enough to put him in the Top 5, which means he is currently ranked seven spots ahead of O’Malley, so if he opts to take a bigger fight, that is an option.
For now, “Suga” has to do his part and take out Munhoz if he wants a chance at a do-over against the Bantamweight Terminator.