Before UFC-debut win, Sean O'Malley went through DWCS 2 camp with concussion

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Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

At the second Dana White’s Contender Series event, Sean O’Malley impressed with a flashy striking display that culminated in a first-round finish of Alfred Khashakyan.

The win, as we found out later that night, was impressive enough to catch the UFC president’s eye. At 22 and with an unblemished eight-fight record at the time, O’Malley was the only fighter to come out of the July 18 UFC Fight Pass event with a UFC contract and some serious hype behind him.

But what ended as a perfect night started as anything but.

“That Contender Series fight, I couldn’t spar,” O’Malley recently told MMAjunkie Radio. “That was the worst training camp I’ve ever had for any fight. I woke up that morning, and I was like, ‘(Expletive), man. Not feeling it.’ Just because I hadn’t been sparring hard. I wasn’t able to practice.

“I haven’t said anything about it, but I had a bad concussion that whole fight camp. I woke up that morning, I had headaches. I was like, ‘(Expletive).’ I was just thinking I had to go in there and scrap and just make it ugly – just do whatever I had to do to win it.”

Who knew having a lousy camp could end up working out so well?

Fortunately for O’Malley (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC), things were different ahead of his recent UFC debut. In the months that elapsed between his DWCS bout and his TUF 26 Finale meeting with Terrion Ware (17-7 MMA, 0-2 UFC) on Dec. 1, O’Malley got to better every bit of his MMA game, throughout a camp in which he was confident.

We got to see the result of that in the octagon. While it wasn’t an entirely spotless performance – O’Malley’s slower second round cost him on all three judges’ scorecards for that frame – he showcased style and heart as he dug deep against a gritty opponent in a co-headlining affair. O’Malley took a unanimous-decision nod for his efforts.

Overall, O’Malley was happy with his display against a a “tough-as-(expletive)” opponent. Even as he stepped off the gas pedal in the second frame, “Sugar” was confident that his preparation would translate to a second wind when he came back for the last one. He never gave up on the finish, even though Ware wouldn’t let him have it, and ultimately got the win and the attention.

By all accounts, it was one solid way to kick off a UFC run. But for O’Malley, who’d finished seven of the eight opponents who came before, something was still missing.

“I was just upset I didn’t get the finish,” O’Malley said. “It just doesn’t feel right.”

A 23-year-old with an unbeaten record, a creative striking style and finish-driven mentality, one would assume, shouldn’t have too much trouble getting chances to right that wrong. When the next opportunity will take place, however, is to be determined.

With a few minor injuries to tend to right now, he’s looking at at least a few months of rest. He has no specific opponents in mind, but UFC 222, set for March 3 in Las Vegas, seems like a good option.

However it turns out, O’Malley wants to make the most of 2018.

“I definitely want to fight three or four times next year, as well,” O’Malley said. “I had four fights this year, so as long as I’m healthy, I want to fight.”

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2578 with Joseph Benavidez, Sean O'Malley, Austin Vanderford

Stream or download Thursday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with Joseph Benavidez, Sean O’Malley and Austin Vanderford.

O’Malley, coming off of a win over Terrion Ware at last weekend’s TUF 26 Finale, called in to unpack his experience from fight night. Vanderford, who faces Kenny Licea on Dec. 16 at Victory FC: 59, talked about his upcoming fight. Benavidez co-hosted the majority of the show in studio, catching us up on what’s next for him.

You can listen below or stream the entire episode on AudioBoom.com.

Filed under: News, Radio, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Joseph Benavidez (in studio), Sean O'Malley, Austin Vanderford

Filed under: News, UFC

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Joseph Benavidez, Sean O’Malley and Austin Vanderford.

Benavidez will co-host the show in the studio. The perennial flyweight contender is nearing the end of his recovery from a serious knee injury, which has kept him sidelined all year. O’Malley is coming off a big bantamweight win over Terrion Ware this past Friday at the TUF 26 Finale in his official UFC debut. And Vanderford is getting ready to fight Kenny Licea next week at Victory FC 59.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTubepages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

TUF 26 Finale medical suspensions: Four get potential six-month terms

Sean O’Malley continued to make a name for himself as a bantamweight to watch, but there’s potential he’ll be out of action for a while.

O’Malley (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) may be sitting out for six months unless doctors clear both his left hand and left foot with X-rays following his win over Terrion Ware (17-7 MMA, 0-2 UFC) in the co-main event of the TUF 26 Finale this past Friday.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission released the medical suspensions to MMAjunkie today following the event, which it oversaw at Park Theater in Las Vegas. It aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Four fighters on the card were given potential six-month medical suspensions. Along with O’Malley, Barb Honchak (10-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC), Melinda Fabian (4-3-2 MMA, 0-0-1 UFC) and Ariel Beck (4-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) could be out for 180 days.

In the main event, Nicco Montano (4-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) won the inaugural UFC women’s flyweight title with a unanimous decision over Roxanne Modafferi (21-14 MMA, 0-2 UFC). Modafferi was given a 30-day suspension with no contact for 21 days.

The full list of medical suspensions from the TUF 26 Finale include:

    • Roxanne Modafferi: Suspended 30 days with no contact for 21 days.
    • Sean O’Malley: Suspended 180 days unless cleared by doctor with left hand and left foot X-rays.
    • Terrion Ware: Suspended 21 days with no contact for 14 days.
    • Barb Honchak: Suspended 180 days unless cleared by doctor with right hand X-ray.
    • Eric Spicely: Suspended 45 days with no contact for 30 days.
    • Melinda Fabian: Suspended 180 days or until broken left thumb cleared by doctor; in addition, suspended 21 days with no contact for 14 days.
    • Ryan Janes: Suspended 30 days with no contact for 21 days for hard fight.
    • Andrew Sanchez: Suspended 45 days with no contact for 30 days for lip laceration.
    • Ariel Beck: Suspended 180 days unless cleared by doctor with left wrist X-ray; in addition, suspended 45 days with no contact for 30 days.

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Don't expect UFC prospect Sean O'Malley to be any less free-wheeling

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

LAS VEGAS – UFC bantamweight Sean O’Malley lived up to the hype he generated on “Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series,” and he was pushed in his octagon debut.

Terrion Ware (17-7 MMA, 0-2 UFC) was no easy task when he welcomed O’Malley (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) to the promotion in the FS1-televised co-headliner of Saturday’s The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, which took place at Park Theater in Las Vegas.

In the second round, it looked like the newcomer was short on gas and fading as he took punches from the persistent veteran.

The good news, at least to O’Malley, is that he can only go up from here.

“It was a good push,” O’Malley told MMAjunkie. “I got to show my heart. I knew I had my heart, but I had to show it to everyone. It was a good fight. I’m going to grow from it and become better from it.”

In the final frame, O’Malley rediscovered the fast and loose countering style that stymied Ware, and won key exchanges. Not only that, he showed the crowd he isn’t just a striker, nabbing two takedowns to secure a unanimous decision.

“I really wanted a finish, but I’m super excited,” O’Malley said. “I thought it was a good performance, but I really want that finish.”

The undefeated O’Malley might have rode a wave of attention into his UFC debut, but that wasn’t holding him back when he engaged with Ware. The only difficulty was the chin on his opponent.

“I didn’t feel any extra pressure,” he said. “I didn’t feel any nerves. I think that kid’s just really tough. I hit him a lot, and he didn’t go down.”

In the process, O’Malley repeatedly exposed himself to danger, letting Ware swarm him as they fought against the cage. But he doesn’t plan on changing his style any time soon. If anything, he said, he’s going to get looser from here on out.

“That’s just how I fight,” he said. “You look at all my fights since I was 16, kickboxing, they all look like that. I’m just getting better and getting more tricks. They’re all going to look like that from now on, too.”

To hear more from O’Malley, check out the video above.

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

TUF 26 Finale results: Sean O'Malley stays perfect, impresses against gritty Terrion Ware

LAS VEGAS – Unbeaten bantamweight Sean O’Malley (9-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) impressed in his official UFC debut, digging deep for a decision win over a tough Terrion Ware (17-7 MMA, 0-2 UFC).

The bantamweight bout was the co-main event of today’s TUF 26 Finale event at Park Theater in Las Vegas. It aired on FS1 following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.

Ware opened the bout with a low kick as O’Malley feigned a jab before eventually unleashing a spinning kick to the body that missed. O’Malley threw a few more big kicks to follow, including a big shot that scored to the body, but Ware defended well in the early going. O’Malley gained confidence as the round wore on, hanging his hands and throwing strikes from all angles, including a high kick that landed clean.

Ware was relentless in his effort to strike, but O’Malley was just a touch quicker and managed the distance to perfection, slipping punches and creating angle to return fire. To his credit, Ware seemed unimpressed at his opponent’s creative attacks and constantly looked to move forward and attack.

O’Malley continued to looks for the counter in the second, retreating with hishands down and landing pinpoint shots. A big uppercut found the mark, and it felt very much like O’Malley was in complete control. Still, Ware refused to back down, mixing it up in the pocket and eventually drawing blood from his opponent’s nose. Two crisp punches seemed o stagger O’Malley a touch, and Ware mocked him as he showed the cardio needed to keep a high pace against a dangerous for. O’Malley visibly slowed as the round played out and eventually slipped on a high kick, . Still, O’Malley worked back to the feet with relative ease and even landed a spinning backfist as he pulled away.

The two fighters continued to trade punches over the final minute. O’Malley was breathing deep but still attempted a flying triangle choke that missed in the final seconds.

O’Malley was a little more aggressive to start the third, rifling out a jab that popped his opponent’s head back and driving a spinning kick to the liver that Ware shook off. O’Malley landed a few really crisp shots up top, but Ware showed an incredible chin and pushed through them as he looked to keep the pace high. O’Malley seemed to catch a bit of a second wind as Ware finally showed a little sign of slowing. O’Malley slipped and ripped, landing clean on straight punches and wowing the crowd with a few creative spinning attacks.

O’Malley eventually scored a takedown, but he immediately backed away and landed a huge kick to the body. Another takedown followed, but O’Malley returned quickly to the fee when a choke attempt missed. The two continued to trade until the very end, where O’Malley finished with a takedown and a few elbows on top. In the end, O’Malley took two of three rounds on all three judges’ cards and walked away with a decision win.

Up-to-the-minute TUF 26 Finale results include:

For complete coverage of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s John Morgan and Ken Hathaway contributed to this report on site in Las Vegas.)

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Sean O'Malley says UFC debut already done, planning another 'Sugar' show

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LAS VEGAS – Officially, Sean O’Malley makes his UFC debut at Friday’s The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, but the undefeated prospect believes he’s already banked that experience.

“That last fight, that kid was, I think, UFC caliber,” O’Malley told MMAjunkie. “I look at it like that was my first UFC fight. I think that kid and this kid I’m fighting are super similar, and I think the same outcome is going to come out, too.”

O’Malley first appeared on the UFC radar at July’s Dana White’s Contender Series 2 event, where he scored a scintillating first-round knockout of Alfred Khashakyan. O’Malley’s performance caught the eye of UFC commentator and rap superstar Snoop Dogg, not to mention ESPN.

O’Malley admits he still receives messages about the performance on a daily basis via social media but insists he didn’t let the early notoriety go to his head.

“Everything has been the same,” O’Malley said. “I was training twice a day before, I’m training twice a day now. I bought a house, and that was the only thing that’s been different. Everything has been the same.”

O’Malley (8-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) returns to action against Terrion Ware (17-6 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at Friday’s The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, which takes place at Park Theater in Las Vegas and airs on FS1 following an early prelim on UFC Fight Pass.

Oddsmakers have installed O’Malley as a sizable favorite, but he said he’s not feeling any pressure to replicate his Contender Series performance. Instead, he insists that type of show is always his intention.

“I expect from myself to go out there and knock him out, so that’s just kind of how I feel, and I don’t feel any more pressure or nothing,” O’Malley said. “That’s what I want to go out there and do, so anything other than that, I would be kind of disappointed.”

If O’Malley is capable of turning in another show-stealing victory – and with seven finishes in eight career wins, it certainly doesn’t seem impossible – the 23-year-old MMA Lab product could very well find himself on the fast track to contention in the bantamweight division.

Bring it on, says “Sugar.”

“I’m going to take it one fight at a time,” O’Malley said. “I’m going to go out there and knock this dude out, enjoy it, then talk about it later, maybe next week, or talk about it after the fight.”

To hear more from O’Malley, check out the video above.

And for more on The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Sean O'Malley vs. Terrion Ware booked for TUF 26 Finale in December

The next edition of the live finale of “The Ultimate Fighter” has its latest fight booking, and it comes in the bantamweight division.

Sean O’Malley (8-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) will take on Terrion Ware (17-6 MMA, 0-1 UFC) at the TUF 26 Finale in December. UFC officials made the announcement during the stream of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series on UFC Fight Pass.

The Ultimate Fighter 25 Finale takes place Dec. 1 at Park Theatre in Las Vegas. The event will air on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

O’Malley gets his first official crack at the UFC after picking up a knockout win over Alfred Khashakyan on the second installment of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series in July. That kept The MMA Lab-based 22-year-old perfect as a pro at 8-0. All but one of his victories have been by stoppage, including six knockouts. Before his shot on DWCS 2, he knocked out David Nuzzo at LFA 11 in May with a spinning wheel kick.

Terrion Ware

Ware made his promotional debut in July, but lost a unanimous decision to Cody Stamman at UFC 213 in Las Vegas. The setback snapped a four-fight winning streak for the 31-year-old Californian, whose resume includes wins under the RFA, BAMMA and ACB banners.

For more on The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

MMAjunkie's 'Knockout of the Month' for July: Who had the best finish in a loaded month?

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie looks at the best knockouts from July. Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMAjunkie’s “Knockout of the Month” award for July.

At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting on your choice.

* * * *

The Nominees

Galore Bofando def. Charlie Ward at UFC Fight Night 113

Galore Bofando (5-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC) brought plenty of theatrics into his UFC debut against Charlie Ward (3-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC).

Bofando, who initially elicited some boos while dancing around the cage, took out welterweight Ward – one of UFC champ Conor McGregor’s teammates – with a toss/slam to the mat, which left him dazed and forced a quick stoppage.

Sean O’Malley def. Alfred Khashakyan at Dana White’s Contender Series 2

Sean O’Malley (8-0) styled on Alfred Khashakyan (8-4) for a little more than four minutes before he put the lights out for the knockout courtesy of a straight right hand.

The 22-year-old bantamweight made a huge impression when he put on a flashy display of striking in the dominant performance. He landed everything from spinning kicks to powerful punches, and while Khashakyan hung tough, he finally went down at the 4:14 mark of Round 1.

Instagram Photo

Alex Oliveira def. Ryan LaFlare at UFC on FOX 25

Ryan LaFlare (13-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC) used his formidable wrestling skills to smother Alex Oliveira for five minutes. But Oliveira (18-3-1 MMA, 7-2 UFC) only needed a second to turn the tables.

Oliveira caught LaFlare reaching and laid him out with a perfect right hand, ending the welterweight bout at the 1:50 mark of the second round.

Volkan Oezdemir def. Jimi Manuwa at UFC 214

Less than six months after his promotional debut, Volkan Oezdemir (15-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) further cut the line of UFC light heavyweight contenders with another spectacular knockout.

Oezdemir stunned Jimi Manuwa (17-3 MMA, 6-3 UFC) in the clinch before knocking him to the mat with a left hand, finishing the fight in stunning fashion just 42 seconds into the opening round.

Instagram Photo

Jon Jones def. Daniel Cormier at UFC 214

Jon Jones (23-1 MMA, 17-1 UFC) reclaimed the UFC light heavyweight title by knocking out Daniel Cormier (19-2 MMA, 8-2 UFC), stopping his rival with a head kick and punches at the 3:01 mark of the third round.

Jones, returning from a 15-month layoff due to an anti-doping violation, made Cormier wade through dozens of kicks and punches before catching him off guard with the fight-changing shot. “Bones” swarmed and picked up his first finish by strikes since April 2013.

Instagram Photo

* * * *

The Winner: Galore Bofando

If you were to pick a way for Bofando to win his first UFC fight, it would probably be by some flashy kick. From the opening exchanges of his meeting with Ward, that appeared to be his best shot at victory.

You certainly wouldn’t guess a takedown reversal would lead to Ward unconscious on the mat, which is why Bofando’s debut was all the more remarkable.

Bofando’s first outing was called off at the 2:10 mark of the opening round after Ward tried to muscle him to the canvas and instead crashed head-first onto the mat, knocking him senseless. Referee Marc Goddard was right there to stop Ward from taking too much further punishment.

It was a bizarre sequence considering the initial skirmishes between Bofando and Ward. Bofando danced around the octagon, trying attacks you’d sooner see in a sport-karate competition than the octagon. A frustrated Ward banged his gloves together and tried unsuccessfully to slow Bofando down in the clinch. He tried to shame the UFC newcomer into a slugfest.

When that didn’t work, Ward got aggressive and held Bofando in a bodylock, pushing the fight into the cage. He had just started to elevate and twist Bofando’s body when his momentum was used against him.

“At the start, I just tried to size him up a bit, test the distance and test how strong he was,” Bofando said. “When we got into the clinch, I realized his legs were a bit weak, so I was able to turn him over and I dumped him on his head. He was strong, but it was pretty much what I was expecting from him, to be honest. Now we have to sit down as a team and discuss what’s next. There was talk of Artem Lobov before at 155 pounds, which could be an interesting fight. I think I (would) beat him.”

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Source: MMA Junkie

Others left disappointed, but DWCS 2 winner Sean O'Malley had no doubt he'd get UFC contract

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LAS VEGAS – Undefeated Sean O’Malley was the only fighter who left Dana White’s Contender Series 2 on Tuesday night with a UFC contract. And he wasn’t surprised.

“I want to be a superstar, and I know I can be,” he told MMAjunkie after the fight. “That’s what’s going to happen.”

In the co-headliner of the five-bout card, which streamed on UFC Fight Pass from The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas, O’Malley (8-0) eventually picked apart bantamweight Alfred Khashakyan (8-4) to score a first-round knockout via a straight right.

“I wasn’t nervous one bit,” he said.

Here are the highlights of “Sugar’s” big win (via Twitter):

Afterward, the winners gathered, and O’Malley was told he was the only one who receiving a UFC contract. UFC President Dana White said O’Malley is “kid has the style and the mentality to be a star.” The 22-year-old, who was coming off a spinning-wheel-kick knockout of David Nuzzo at LFA 11 in May, is now 8-0 with seven stoppage (six knockouts and a submission).

He isn’t surprised he’s leaving Vegas with a UFC contract.

“I was 100 percent confident (I’d get one),” O’Malley said. “All those guys – I like all of those (other guys who fought tonight), and they fought hard – but I went out there and put on a show. I do that every fight.”

Check out the full interview above.

For more on “Dana White’s Contender Series: Week 2,” check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie