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Sean O’Malley calls bulls—t on Pedro Munhoz eye-poke stoppage: ‘I was dominating that fight’

Despite the scorecards having Pedro Munhoz ahead, Sean O’Malley believes his opponent wanted out of their UFC 276 fight, using an eye poke as an excuse.

Sean O’Malley is not happy with the way his fight with Pedro Munhoz ended at UFC 276 last night (Sat., July 2, 2022) in Las Vegas, Nevada. He’s also not happy with the way the judges were scoring the fight. Or, the way UFC’s gloves encourage eye-pokes.

He was just a pretty sour “Sugar” all around.

O’Malley’s fight with Munhoz ended three minutes into the second round after an eye poke rendered Munhoz unable to continue. It was an odd one: replay footage didn’t show a lot of the penetration mixed martial arts (MMA) fans are used to seeing when a finger to the eyeball stops a fight. But, there was a shockwave of force visible in the slow-motion replays.

When asked whether O’Malley thought Munoz was taking the easy way out after the poke, O’Malley agreed.

“100 percent, that’s what’s going on in my mind,” he said. “I’ll have to re-watch it. I was piecing him up, I didn’t get hit once. He came in there and said, ‘I’m going to kick his legs and try to take him down.’ He tried kicking my legs and it damaged him more, he couldn’t get me up against the fence, he couldn’t get me down. I was dominating that fight.

“Initially, like when it happened, it didn’t feel like it was bad,” he continued. “I thought we were going to be fighting in 20 seconds, I didn’t feel like the fight was going to be stopped. I was dominating that fight, I checked every one of his leg kicks, I could feel his shins cracking. Every time he would throw a kick, I would check it and I could tell it hurt him. I didn’t get hit one time, I was dominating that fight. I was piecing him up, I was finding my range ... it sucks.”

After being informed that two of the three judges gave Munhoz the first round on their scorecards, an annoyed O’Malley replied, “Have those judges kick me and I’ll check their kick and they’ll be like ‘Oh, okay. That hurt.’ That’s a strike for me. That hurt Pedro, every time he would kick me and I’d check it, it would hurt him. For anyone who judges to say that’s a score for him? They’re literally stupid. Just stupid.”

All in all, the aborted ending ruined O’Malley’s vibe.

“It’s a weird feeling because I do feel like I won the fight, but it’s not like the emotions of winning a fight. I was winning the fight. I can’t believe the judges ... I literally didn’t ... were they watching? I didn’t get hit. How could you score that? That makes zero sense.”

He also became just the latest in a long line of fighters to point out the obvious flaws in UFC’s gloves.

“We gotta figure out something with those gloves because when you’re wearing those gloves they almost make your hand want to open,” O’Malley said. “You’ve really got to try and make a fist. So, if we had gloves that kind of force your hand to make a fist, that would help a lot.”

As for an immediate rematch or quick turnaround, O’Malley sounded uncertain.

“In the cage he said, ‘Oh, we can run it back,’” he said. “Someone do a poll on Twitter and see if he was looking for a way out. I really believe that was best-case scenario for Pedro. I was piecing him up, I was way faster than him, he couldn’t hit me, he couldn’t hurt me. I just ... yeah. I don’t know.”

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 276: “Adesanya vs. Cannonier” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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