After coming back from a two-year USADA ban, Sean O'Malley has earned back-to-back KO stoppage wins in less than four total minutes of fighting.
Sean “Sugar” O’Malley looks to continue his sweet start to his UFC career Saturday night as he tangles with Marlon “Chito” Vera in bantamweight action at UFC 252 at the UFC APEX facility in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
The MMA odds are squarely in O’Malley’s corner in this one, making him the overwhelming -330 favorite. Vera checks in at +240.
Sean O’Malley UFC 252 Odds
It doesn’t get much better than this in terms of kicking off a career. Since winning Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series in 2017, O’Malley has reeled off 12 consecutive victories without a defeat. He has looked positively dominant since returning from a two-year USADA ban, earning back-to-back KO stoppage wins in less than four total minutes of fighting.
O’Malley’s skill set is diverse, but make no mistake – this guy wants to knock you out. And he’s pretty good at it: his 58-percent significant strike success rate would rank second in the entire bantamweight division if he had enough strikes to qualify. The 25-year-old has won Fight of the Night or Performance of the Night honors in each of his previous three bouts overall.
Marlon Vera UFC 252 Odds
This probably isn’t a good time for Vera to try and get back on the winning track. One of the most celebrated veterans in the division, Vera is coming off a loss via unanimous decision to Song Yadong at a UFC on ESPN card back on May 16. That put an end to a five-match winning streak. Those five wins came in impressive fashion, including three KOs and two submissions.
The Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist has a major chip on his shoulder following that Yadong loss – a fight he believes he should have won. He could pose some problems for O’Malley with his aggressive style and deep arsenal. While he’d prefer to get himself in position for a submission, Vera also possesses the power to knock O’Malley out should the latter make a mistake.
O’Malley vs. Vera UFC 252 Prediction
Vera should provide a stiff challenge in this one – at least initially – but O’Malley is clearly a rising star in the bantamweight division and should vault up the rankings with a victory this weekend. Vera might have a shot if he can get this one into the later rounds, but we don’t see it lasting that long. We’re taking O’Malley via knockout or TKO.