Saturday, June 25, 2022

UFC star plans knockout spree to become ‘bigger than’ Conor McGregor

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UFC superstar Conor McGregor won’t be the biggest name in mixed martial arts for long if “Suga” Sean O’Malley prevails.

O’Malley is already a star in the sport, but Suga believes the sky’s the limit. And while recently chatting with Ariel Helwani on an episode of The MMA Hour, O’Malley outlined how he could surpass McGregor’s fame.

The KO artist returns to action on July 2 at UFC 276 when he takes on 10th-ranked bantamweight Pedro Munhoz. Munhoz will be a big test for O’Malley to see if he can compete with the top 135lb fighters.

The No. 13 bantamweight told Helwani that he plans to knock out Munhoz and then follow up the win by knocking out his former opponent Marlon “Chito” Vera.

He then looks to fight for the 135-pound championship and after defeating Aljamain Sterling, or whoever the bantamweight king is at the time, O’Malley sees he is “close” to his goal of glory.

“There’s no one doing it the way I want it,” O’Malley said of MMA Fighting. “There is no one who can do it like I can. I just have to go out and win these fights and build my own lane like Conor did. I think Izzy [Adesanya] does a really good job, he’s a super active champion. Kamaru [Usman] does a really good job too. … Obviously I want to be taller than these two guys like they want to be taller than me and Conor and whoever. But I think I’ll just do my own thing, my own way, and ideally, in my mind, it all starts with a dream.

“I think wanting to be taller than Conor may sound silly right now, but if I go out there and KO Pedro, KO ‘Chito’. [Vera]beat whoever is champion [them] Low, [then] i am the champion [and] I’m very close

“Conor had the crazy moments with Jose Aldo and the Chad Mendes [win] and all those fights that Nate [Diaz] Fights – he’s had some sweet fights. I still have to go out and have those sweet fights and those sweet moments to be this big, and I’m absolutely capable of that. I am 27 years old I’m a bloody animal right now and I’m looking forward to going out there and showing that against ‘Prelim Pedro’.”

Aside from his loss to Chito, all Suga has ever known in his pro career is victory. With a 15-1 record, O’Malley is riding on the momentum of a three-fight win streak. In all, he’s finished 11 opponents by KO/TKO and one by submission, and he has wins against big names like Eddie Wineland, Thomas Almeida, and Raulian Paiva.

Paiva is Suga’s most recent win, defeating the fighter via TKO in the first round at UFC 269 in December.

Munhoz’s last fight also came during UFC 269, but unlike O’Malley, he didn’t leave the venue victorious. He dropped a unanimous decision to former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz during the event.

It was Munhoz’s second straight loss, and he is 4-1 in his last five fights. But all four of his losses have come from former or current UFC champions. Also, they were all decision losers as The Young Punisher was never stopped as a pro.

So if O’Malley wants to KO Munhoz (19-7) he’ll have to do what no other fighter could.

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