The Suga Show is the real deal. Sean O’Malley had two years on the sidelines after USADA pinged him. However, that may turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to his career because his skills have truly blossomed. He believes that he’s the most exciting striker in the UFC. Well, he’s definitely up there.
He took on former WEC bantamweight champion Eddie Wineland at UFC 20 in Las Vegas. The UFC intended this to be a step-up in competition for O’Malley, but he performed brilliantly. O’Malley rocked rainbow-dyed cornrows, while Wineland had a mustache straight out of 19th-century bare-knuckle brawls.
However, only one of these colorful characters could win. It was O’Malley who saw his hand raised after a sensational showing. Now he’ll want to step up again and fight a ranked opponent. Check out the highlights and analysis below.
— TeeBeeDee (@YoungBuck_21) June 7, 2020
One of the big questions was how would O’Malley fare in a smaller cage. We all know how he likes to move, but that Apex cage can close in on you very quickly. Wineland looked to use that to his advantage early on, as he pressed forward in his trademark eccentric stance, looking from a figure from times gone by.
However, O’Malley was too slick for him and avoided taking any major damage despite Wineland’s pressure. It looked like the former champ was finding his groove but all of a sudden he found himself unconscious. After missing with a spinning back kick, O’Malley faked an uppercut and then smashed Wineland in the jaw with a deadly straight right.
— UFC (@ufc) June 7, 2020
It was a stunning KO and he walked away à la Mark Hunt as if he had just put back his shopping cart. Only time will tell just how high his ceiling is, but you risk a lot by standing with O’Malley. ‘Suga’ is as clinical a striker as you’ll see. His height and length also make him very awkward for any bantamweight.
Furthermore, O’Malley doesn’t even have a manager anymore. He negotiates all of his fights by himself. It just goes to show that you can be successful and popular without giving away 20% of your earnings to a leech or by making a false persona for yourself.
— Josh📌 (@_jrickz) June 7, 2020
The big question is who should O’Malley fight next. Cody Garbrandt also fought and won on the night. Many fans called for that match-up, but realistically it’s too early for ‘Suga.’ Also, ‘No Love’ will be looking up the rankings towards the title so he won’t want it either.
A clash with John Dodson is much more likely. The veteran has fought almost everybody and would be a good barometer of how balanced are O’Malley’s skills. Alternatively, Cody Stamann also won on the night, beating a very game Brian Kelleher. That would be a great fight for O’Malley too.
Anyway, the ‘Suga Show’ keeps rolling and entertaining. The similarities to Israel Adesanya’s rise are stark. A young, good-looking guy with an eccentric personality and strong social media game. The template is there for young fighters.