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Sean O’Malley: Everything you need to know about the UFC Star

LockerRoom Team
30 June 2021

Sean O’Malley is one of the most talked-about UFC fighters at the moment. Hailing from the United States, O’Malley has been an active name for a long time now, and here is everything you need to know about him.

Starting of his MMA Career

O'Malley trains at The MMA Lab in Glendale, Arizona, under the direction of head trainer John Crouch, and is mentored by Tim Welch, a long-time friend.

O'Malley fought his first five fights in Montana before moving to North Dakota and finally signing with Legacy Fighting Alliance, where he received a highlight-reel knockout over David Nuzzo.

O'Malley secured a berth on Dana White's Contender Series 2 after defeating Nuzzo. He faced Alfred Khashakyan. O'Malley was awarded a UFC contract after defeating Khashakyan in the first round with a spectacular knockout.

Sean O’Malley in UFC

On December 1, 2017, at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, O'Malley made his promotional debut against Terrion Ware. O'Malley was declared the winner by unanimous decision.

On March 3, 2018, Sean O’Malley vs. Andre Soukhamthath happened at UFC 222. Despite hurting his foot in the third round, he won the bout by unanimous decision. Both fighters received a Fight of the Night bonus for this fight.

On October 6, 2018, O'Malley was set to face José Alberto Quiónez at UFC 229. On September 30, however, O'Malley confirmed his withdrawal from the fight owing to a possible Anti-Doping Policy violation. O'Malley underwent hip surgery on October 25 while awaiting a ruling on his probable breach.

On July 6, 2019, O'Malley was supposed to fight Marlon Vera at UFC 239. On June 21, 2019, O'Malley confirmed his withdrawal from the fight owing to a failed ostarine test. Due to the failed test, the Nevada State Athletic Commission chose to suspend him, and USADA suspended him for six months.

On March 7, 2020, O'Malley fought José Alberto Quiónez at UFC 248. He won the bout in the first round by TKO. With this victory, he received his first Performance of the Night award.

O'Malley then fought former WEC Bantamweight Champion Eddie Wineland at UFC 250 on June 6, 2020. He won the bout in the first round with a one-punch knockout. This victory earned him the award for Best Performance of the Night.

On August 15, 2020, O'Malley fought Marlon Vera in the co-main event of UFC 252. Vera kicked O'Malley in the peroneal nerve early in the bout, injuring his lower leg, and was eventually knocked out by technical knockout, marking his first professional loss. Later, he was diagnosed with drop foot.

On March 27, 2021, at UFC 260, O'Malley faced Thomas Almeida. O'Malley downed Almeida with a punch in the first round and walked away assuming Almeida had been knocked out. Despite the error, O'Malley won the bout in the third round by knockout. This victory earned him the award for Best Performance of the Night. On July 10, 2021, O'Malley was set to battle Louis Smolka at UFC 264. Smolka, on the other hand, withdrew from the bout in late June due to injury. O'Malley ended up facing Kris Moutinho at UFC 264 as a result and the fight ended up being the Fight of the Night. O'Malley secured a finish in the fight despite Moutinho showing a lot of heart throughout the showdown. 

O’Malley in Submission Grappling

Apart from MMA, O’Malley has been an active name in Submission Grappling as well.

On December 12, 2019, O'Malley competed as a member of Team UFC at Quintet: Ultra. In his first round of the tournament, he submitted Takanori Gomi with a guillotine choke but was then submitted by Hector Lombard with an ankle lock. The team moved to the next round, where they were pitted against Team Strikeforce.

He drew with former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez in that round, and they were both knocked out. The tournament was won by Team UFC.

On September 20, 2020, O'Malley competed in the 155lbs Advanced No-gi division of Grappling Industries Phoenix, finishing third in a seven-man division, just losing to the eventual victor, Robert Deagle.

On behalf of O'Malley, Chael Sonnen issued an open challenge for his promotion's event on December 20, 2020. James Gallagher accepted the challenge and challenged O'Malley to a grappling contest at the SUG event. Gallagher was left without an opponent after O'Malley apparently declined the contest.

Sugar Sean O’Malley – The Nickname

One of O'Malley's MMA teachers in Montana gave him the moniker "Sugar" early in his career. "Because you're sweet to watch," his coach said O'Malley when he inquired why he was given this nickname.

Tim Welch, O'Malley's friend and head coach, and O'Malley co-host their own podcast, The Timbo Sugarshow.  Since 2017, O'Malley has been an authorized athlete for Sanabul, a well-known combat sports company.  He used to eat a vegan diet but has subsequently reintroduced meat into his diet. O'Malley is a supporter of marijuana legalisation.

Sean O’Malley Twitter and Sean O’Malley Instagram

Sean O’Malley is on Twitter as @SugaSeanMMA. He has the same handle on Instagram as well and he is an active name on Social Media where he posts a string of updates regarding his career inside the fight business and outside it.

Sean O’Malley and Conor McGregor

Sean O'Malley notes that his fighting style is similar to that of former UFC Champion Conor McGregor. During the UFC 252 Virtual Media Day ahead of his fight with Marlon Vera, O’Malley had the following to say.

"We are pretty similar in fight styles, you know we knock people out in the first round. We aren’t afraid to say how we feel, the fight is gonna play out. We have similar styles, we are explosive strikers. I knock people out in the first round and he knocks people out in the first round, so yeah, I think there’s a similarity there."

Personal Life

O’Malley has Irish roots. His grandmother is from Ireland. He is with his longtime girlfriend Danya and they welcomed their daughter Elena in 2020 as well. During one of his interviews, he also noted that Jiu-Jitsu is his favorite sport.

He is also a video game lover. During his interview with MMA fighting, O’Malley opened up about his video game streaming and noted that he makes money off it as well.

“Right now I’m making around $4,500 a month through gaming. I just do it because I love it. I’ve been playing video games since I was a little kid, and I’ve had a couple people say, ‘Why don’t you stream? Why don’t you stream?’ I was like, ‘No one wants to watch me play.’ And I’ve been streaming for like nine months now and there’s some loyal fans in there. I only get 50, 60 viewers at a time, so if fans have questions, they come in there, and there’s some kids there that literally every time I go live, they get a notification on their phone and they’re in there talking, saying, ‘Hey, what’s up?’ I have a good relationship with my subscribers. They come in there, subscribe, and I’m in the UFC video game now so I was playing that a couple times. I’ve seen some people on Twitter like, ‘Why would we pay to play with you?’ It’s not like that. It’s something I do — it’s not just fun, it’s work too. I put a lot of hours into that to try to build that channel, so it’s work really at the end of the day,” he said during the interview.

Sean O’Malley Height and Weight

Sean O’Malley is 5ft 11 Inches (1.80 Meters) tall. He had previously fought at Flyweight and now competes at Bantamweight in the UFC. He has a reach of 72 inches as well.

What are your thoughts on O’Malley? Let us know in the comment section of the article below.


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