“All the Makings of a Star”-Teddy Atlas Heaps Praise on UFC Bantamweight Fighter With the ‘It’ Factor

Published 12/30/2021, 10:02 AM EST
Teddy Atlas


Sean O’Malley is steadily becoming one of the UFC’s most valuable fighters. Even though the 27-year-old made his UFC debut in 2017, ‘Suga’ has cemented himself as a regular main card on the roster. Additionally, the fighter has claimed a place in the bantamweight rankings by standing tall at #12 on the charts. Meanwhile, he has received praise from one of the most prominent and experienced voices in the combat sports world- Teddy Atlas.

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In a recent interview with The Schmo, legendary boxing coach and commentator, Teddy Atlas gave a brutally honest review of ‘Suga’s popularity. “Sean O’Malley, all the makings of a star. Obviously the look, the ‘it’ factor when he gets into the ring; he lights it up. He’s charismatic, he’s smart. He’s got that ‘it’ factor. But he can fight, too… With all that stuff going on, O’Malley can fight.”

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Sean O’Malley (15-1) has been a breakthrough star for the UFC. You can get an estimate of his importance from the fact that all of his fights except his debut have been in pay-per-view events. The Irishman is currently riding a three-fight winning streak, all of which have come in 2021. Notably, the only loss of his professional MMA career came back in 2020 from the hands of Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera.

To an extent, ‘Suga’ owes his popularity to his unorthodox and trendy style. Additionally, the Irishman is a hit with the mic and doesn’t forget to carry his bling in and out of the octagon. Akin to another UFC superstar- Conor McGregor.

Teddy Atlas compares Sean O’Malley to Conor McGregor

Teddy Atlas is as good as you get with on-show and off-show commentary. The boxing legend holds tremendous experience in the field and knows the in and out of the combat sports industry. With that being said, any veteran of the field can tell you that it’s the showmanship that sells. And that is quite evident at the UFC as well.

Chael Sonnen, Conor McGregor, and Colby Covington are great examples of this. Similarly, Sean O’Malley is on the same path and Teddy Atlas believes the same.

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LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 05: Sean O’Malley poses for media during the UFC 248 Ultimate Media Day at UFC APEX on March 5, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)Sean

In the same conversation, Atlas reveals that Sean O’Malley is a great asset for the UFC. Akin to what Conor McGregor was and remains. And the promotion wants to use ‘Suga’s stardom to build its brand. “We wanna see him tested, of course. But there are special privileges out there. Let’s be real. When a guy can bring money in, when a guy can be Conor McGregor, or potentially Conor McGregor, they get a little special privileges, where they can fight, maybe, a little bit of a lighter competition as they’re allowed the build.”

“I think he’s probably fallen under that category. They wanna use him a little bit, I think, to help the brand again, you know, build UFC like any other brand, like the NFL. Why do they go to Europe? To build the brand,” Atlas continued.

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WATCH THIS STORY- The Best Knockouts of 2021 in the UFC featuring Kamaru Usman, Rose Namajunas and more

Do you think Sean O’Malley can become the next ‘Notorious’ at the UFC? Let us know in the comments below.

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Aashish Kumar

235 articles

Aashish Kumar is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Journalism & Mass Communication, this Israel Adesanya fan has interned at reputed media houses and gained valuable reporting experience. Building on that experience, Aashish will look to tap into his love for combat sports and let fans benefit from his passion and journalistic expertise.

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