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Grappling cred! Watch UFC 292 headliner, Sean O’Malley, submit Takanori Gomi in jiu-jitsu battle

Video of “Suga” tapping Gomi with a guillotine in their 2019 Quartet battle is making the rounds as he prepares to take on Aljamain Sterling for Bantamweight belt.

UFC 235: Stephens v Magomedsharipov Photo by Christian Petersen/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC

Much has been made of Aljamain Sterling’s grappling advantage over Sean O’Malley coming into their title fight at UFC 292, which will take place this weekend (Sat., Aug. 19, 2023) inside TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Even O’Malley has admitted that this is a classic “Striker vs. Grappler” matchup ... and “Sugar” is definitely the striker.

O’Malley entered UFC off a first round knockout on Contender Series, and at one point had a five-fight knockout streak with the promotion. A split decision win over Petr Yan earned him a shot at the Bantamweight title, and now he’ll have to prove he’s a well rounded athlete to get past “The Funkmaster.”

Nothing quite like shutting up those “dorks.”

Nevertheless, there’s already some evidence that O’Malley takes his grappling sessions very seriously. Back in 2019, he took part in a Quintet grappling competition against other mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters. He tapped Japanese fighting legend Takanori Gomi with a guillotine choke just three minutes into their bout.

In the next round, he lost to Hector Lombard via an ankle lock, and then earned a draw against former UFC Lightweight champion, Gilbert Melendez.

LIVE! Watch UFC 293 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

MASSIVE MIDDLEWEIGHT MATCH! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) makes its highly anticipated return to Sydney, Australia, for the first time in five years on Sat., Sept. 9, 2023, with a 185-pound world title fight inside Qudos Bank Arena. In the ESPN+-streamed pay-per-view (PPV) main event, Middleweight roost-ruler, Israel Adesanya, plans to silence No. 5-seeded contender, Sean Strickland. In UFC 293’s hard-hitting Heavyweight co-main event, No-6-ranked fan favorite, Tai Tuivasa, locks horns with towering Russian, Alexander Volkov (No. 8).

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

It was not a bad performance for someone who is being sold coming into UFC 292 as having poor grappling skills. We suppose it’s more that they’re poor in comparison to Sterling, who may not be tapping folks left and right, but can use his dominance to achieve back control and take rounds.

Make no mistake: O’Malley’s best chance of leaving Boston with the title is to knockout Sterling. But, he’ll need some of these grappling skills on display at Quintet to survive the storm whenever “Funkmaster” manages to take things to the ground. And bookies have their doubts “Sugar” can do it. He’s a +210 dog to Sterling’s -275 favorite status.


Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 292 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN2/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 292: “Sterling vs. O’Malley” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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