Chael Sonnen Breaks Down the Mentality of Sean O’Malley Before UFC 260

Published 03/27/2021, 1:49 PM EDT


Sean O’Malley is one of the most exciting rising prospects in the UFC. However, he has to find his way back from the first professional loss of his career. He lost to Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera after some brutal leg kicks rendered O’Malley unable to competently fight off Vera.

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O’Malley has made a public stink about writing that loss off and still being undefeated. While fans haven’t liked it, with many turning on O’Malley, former UFC Middleweight title contender Chael Sonnen believes it shows a sign of mental maturity from O’Malley.

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“When you go into a fight with your first loss, you only got a couple of options. You put that behind you, you reset and go get new fights in front of me, or do you come in with sweaty palms worried about that record?”

Sonnen added, “With O’Malley, he really seems to have put that behind him. He’s had a baby in the meanwhile, he has become a father. Just by example, there’s a lot of other things happening in his life that are going to force a maturity and I personally have a very open mind to him going out there and performing at his best.”

Sean O’Malley: Has the Marlon Vera loss changed him?

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)

There is no way that the Marlon Vera loss wasn’t hard for O’Malley. He was on the fast track to superstardom in the UFC. He seemed to capture the attention of the fans, and the company seemed ready to promote him. However, losing a fight that most people think was going to be a setup for you is not a good look.

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Vera was not expected to beat him, but maybe it is good that he did beat him. Constantly saying he is still undefeated can be annoying. But most of his interactions with the media have shown a quiet maturity around O’Malley. Sadly, he loses that aura when he refuses to let that loss to ‘Chito’ go.

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O’Malley may have made changes inside his preparation to make sure he isn’t surprised by Thomas Almeida at UFC 260. While his maturity is something only he can gauge, it could be the deciding factor in how his next run in the UFC goes.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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