UFC 299: Sean O’Malley Top-5 Career Moments For “Sugar”

Sean O'Malley UFC 299

From his crazy hair to his wild fighting style, Sean O’Malley has quickly ascended the ranks in MMA. This Saturday night, he defends his bantamweight title for the first time at UFC 299.

O’Malley takes on Marlon Vera in the main event from the Kaseya Center in Miami, Florida. The main card airs live on ESPN+ pay-per-view.

Related: How to watch UFC 299: Start Time, Date And Location for Sean O’Malley vs. Vera II

The bout is a rematch from a 2020 encounter won by Vera at UFC 252.

Along with that fight, here are four other key moments in the UFC career of “Sugar.”

No. 5: Sean O’Malley vs. Petr Yan, UFC 280 (2022)

When O’Malley stepped up to Petr Yan in 2022, it marked his first fight with a former UFC champion. Many wondered if the youngster was prepared for what was to come.

He was.

O’Malley even silenced critics about his ability to go the distance, claiming a split decision over Yan to secure his place as the No. 1 contender. It marked the first time since 2018 that he went to the scorecards, and just the fourth overall in his 19-fight career.

No. 4: Sean O’Malley vs. Andre Soukhamthath, UFC 222 (2018)

A veteran with 12 wins on his resume including one in the UFC, Andre Soukhamthath presented the toughest challenge to date for O’Malley when they met in 2018. And he showed why, pushing the young prospect to the third and final bell.

O’Malley battled through adversity, coming out with the win and a “Fight of the Night” bonus in the process.

No. 3: Sean O’Malley vs. Marlon Vera, UFC 252 (2020)


No fighter ever wants to taste that first defeat, but for the majority of them, it happens. O’Malley suffered a ankle injury back in 2020 when he met Marlon Vera at UFC 252. After Vera continued to attack the targeted area, the fight was called and O’Malley was handed a loss.

The defeat seemed to lead to a better focus for the current champion, as he in his very next fight back.

No. 2: Sean O’Malley vs. Thomas Almeida, UFC 260 (2021)

How you return from a loss marks the true heart of a champion. And O’Malley did just that at UFC 260 in 2021 when he Thomas Almeida. With a track record himself of putting on highlight-reel fights, Almeida was looking to keep his standing in the division.

Read More: Top Boxer Ryan Garcia Promises To ‘Destroy’ UFC Champ Sean O’Malley

Instead, O’Malley came out guns-blazing, recording a third round finish when he connected on Almeida. The win not only showed that “Sugar” was back, but that he was ready for moment.

No. 1: Sean O’Malley vs. Aljamain Sterling, UFC 292 (2023)


Just over three years from the day of his loss to Vera, O’Malley stepped inside the Octagon and challenged Aljamain Sterling for the belt. He would never let Sterling get going, finishing the fight early in the second round.

The win provided the first major championship for the Montana native and alum of Dana White’s Contender Series.

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