Oct 22, 2022; Abu Dhabi, UAE; Sean O'Malley (blue gloves) defeats Petr Yan (red gloveS) during UFC 280 at Etihad Arena. Mandatory Credit: Craig Kidwell-USA TODAY Sports

O’Malley Readies for Unexpected Vera Clash

An unforeseen twist in the bantamweight division

In an unforeseen twist, Sean O’Malley, the reigning bantamweight champion, finds himself gearing up for a rematch that caught him off guard. Despite his wish for it, O’Malley hadn’t pegged Marlon Vera as his first title defense opponent. On March 9, at UFC 299, they’re set to face off once more at the Kaseya Center in Miami, reigniting a rivalry that began with Vera handing O’Malley his sole career defeat in August 2020. That loss, a result of a damaging leg kick from Vera, is something O’Malley deems a fluke. Yet, here they are, ready to settle the score in what O’Malley considers the division’s most electrifying matchup.

O’Malley’s confidence is sky-high. He’s convinced the upcoming fight will showcase his unmatched skills. Vera, known for his durability, hasn’t been finished yet. But O’Malley believes he’s about to change that.


Match Card:

  • Bantamweight: Sean O’Malley (17-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) vs Marlon Vera (21-8-1 MMA, 15-7 UFC)


O’Malley on the rematch: “I’m honestly surprised that it’s happening.”

Regarding Vera’s title shot: “Did he really deserve it after his performance over Pedro (Munhoz)? I don’t know.”

On the fight’s significance: “I think it’s the biggest fight in the division.”

About his expectations: “I’m going to bring a level of performance that the UFC has never even seen.”

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