Over the course of the last few years it’s become apparent that bantamweight is the new ‘it’ division in mixed martial arts, and especially in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. From established veterans to rising contenders and everything in between, 135 pounds is an absolute battlefield with any of the top 15 having the potential to go all the way and become champion.
One such example of that is none other than Sean O’Malley, also known as one of the biggest names in the game today.
This weekend at UFC 276, ‘Suga’ takes on arguably his biggest challenge to date as he goes to war with veteran Pedro Munhoz.
The 35-year-old may not be on the best run of form as of late but with none of his defeats coming via finish, you’d have to imagine he’ll be tough to put away on Saturday night.
Ahead of their showdown, the pair squared off at Thursday’s press conference – and things got a bit spicy.
O’Malley checked a watch on both hands and continued teasing Munhoz who, judging by his body language, wasn’t a big fan of the antics.
A notable test
The ‘slow and steady’ approach that the UFC has taken to building Sean O’Malley has been evident for a few years now. The 27-year-old, when including his Contender Series appearance, is 8-1 in the UFC with his only defeat coming at the hands of Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera.
A loss, by default, was a sizeable setback, but Munhoz is a different beast.
O’Malley is all about looking flashy and putting people away but Pedro isn’t the kind of guy who is going to fold easily. If anything he’s going to bring the fight more so than anyone O’Malley has come across thus far, and you only need to ask Cody Garbrandt what happens if you take him lightly.
The youngster seems destined for big things in MMA but if he’s going to live up to that potential, he needs to shine bright on the big stage this weekend.