5 Things You Need to Know About Sean O’Malley

Published 03/23/2021, 7:57 AM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 03: Sean O’Malley celebrates after his unanimous-decision victory over Andre Soukhamthath in their bantamweight bout during the UFC 222 event inside T-Mobile Arena on March 3, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Sean O’Malley aka “Sugar” is one of the best amongst the UFC fighters who makes a knockout look an easy job. The 26-year-old has a spectacular MMA record of (12, 1, 0); he has won 8 fights via knockout, 1 fight via submission, and 3 fights via decision.


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Sean O’Malley started his career in MMA by fighting in the flyweight division and then moved up to the bantamweight division. He trains at the MMA LAB – GLENDALE, Arizona, and he made his MMA debut in 2015. After suffering a setback at UFC 252, he will return for his fourteenth fight against Thomas Almeida at UFC 260 on March 27.

Ahead of his return, let’s take a look at five things you need to know about the UFC fighter Sean O’Malley aka “Sugar”.


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1 Early Career in MMA before UFC

Sean O’Malley started his career by fighting for the Intense Fighting Championship. Following that, after a two-year hiatus, he inked a deal with LFA and duked it out against David Nuzzo. His knockout win (via a spinning leg-kick) in this fight was awarded as the highlight reel knockout of the Legacy Fighting Alliance. 

2 Sean O’Malley’s UFC Debut

The UFC President Dana White allowed him to fight in his Contender Series, which helped him earn his first contract with the UFC. He fought against Alfred Khashakyan on July 18, 2017, of week 2 of the Dana White’s Contender Series. ‘Sugar’ earned the knockout at 4:14 of the first round. 

Sean O’Malley had his first UFC bout against Terrion Ware on December 1, 2017, at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale, where he claimed a unanimous decision win. 

After that, he fought against Andre Soukhamthath on March 3, 2018, at UFC 222 and won via unanimous decision.

3 Sean O’Malley’s Accomplishments and Championships

Sean O’Malley has a record of 12-1 in MMA, 4-0 in kickboxing, and 2-0 in boxing in his amateur career. He has also had one professional boxing match which he has won, which makes his professional boxing record 1-0.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – AUGUST 15: (L-R) Sean O’Malley kicks Marlon Vera of Ecuador in their bantamweight bout during the UFC 252 event at UFC APEX on August 15, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

He was awarded as the fight of the night (one time) vs. Andre Soukhamthath and Performance of the Night (Two times) vs. José Alberto Quiñónez and Eddie Wineland in the UFC. He was also one time ICF Amateur Bantamweight Champion.

4 Sean O’Malley’s Injuries

In his fight against Andre Soukhamthath at UFC 222, O’Malley dominated the first two rounds, but unfortunately, he suffered a leg injury in the third round. Despite his injury, his opponent kept the fight to the mat for most of the final round, which gave O’Malley a chance of avoiding any serious damage.

After the bell rang, he didn’t even stand up to get his hand raised as the winner of the fight via decision. Even in his post-fight press conference, he was on his back and being tended by medical staff.

As he entered his third fight for 2020, ‘Sugar’ landed badly and fell prey to the veteran Marlon Vera’s calf kicks. He suffered a nerve injury and had to be carried out of UFC 252.

Read: Sean O’Malley Mocks Marlon Vera- Says It Would Be a Backward Step to Fight Him

5 Sean O’Malley’s Nickname “Sugar”


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His nickname “Sugar” was given by one of his MMA coaches early in his career. When Sean O’Malley asked why “Sugar”, his coach responded, “Because you’re sweet to watch.”

He has made quite a name for himself in just his first four UFC fights. He has knocked out several of his opponents in the UFC as well as before UFC. All of those knockouts have been extremely pleasing to observe, and his coaches shared this sentiment. Hence, the fighter goes by the moniker ‘Sugar’ and he has incorporated this into his branding as well.


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Arman Khan

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Arman Khan is a UFC author for EssentiallySports. He began following combat sports when Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor competed in 'The Money Fight' in 2017. 'The Notorious' attracted Arman to the UFC and he became an ardent fan of professional fighting as he could draw parallels with the action from his combat sports experience and break down techniques such as striking and striking defense lucidly for the casual fans.