Sean O’Malley delivered a finish for the ages on Saturday night when he scored a second-round knockout to claim the UFC bantamweight world championship.
Stepping into the Octagon for his first UFC title fight, O’Malley did not disappoint, delivering a picture-perfect counter right hand that planted his opponent, Aljamain Sterling, on the canvas. Though it took ‘Sugar’ a tad longer to get the finish, the blow was immediately compared to Conor McGregor’s legendary 13-second knockout of general consensus featherweight GOAT, Jose Aldo, at UFC 194.
Fans Upset Over Sean O’Malley Stoppage at UFC 292
The knockouts are undeniably similar, but unlike McGregor’s, Sean O’Malley’s came with a smidge of controversy. After ‘Sugar’ lands the devastating strike, Sterling is still conscious and moving, attempting to avoid further danger and get back to a more favorable position. Unfortunately, referee Marc Goddard failed to give the ‘Funk Master’ that chance, calling for the stoppage just as Sterling rolled onto his stomach.
Fans were quick to cry foul, suggesting that the stoppage was entirely too early for a title fight. Whether or not that’s the case is sure to be debated over the next several weeks, but no matter which side of the argument you fall on, the fact remains that we have a brand new UFC bantamweight world champion.
Immediately following his victory, Sean O’Malley called for a rematch with the only man to hand him a loss inside the Octagon, Marlon Vera. ‘Chito’ scored his own victory at UFC 292, besting bantamweight mainstay Pedro Munhoz in a three-round striker’s delight. With top-ranked bantamweight contender Merab Dvalishvili on the shelf following surgery, Vera is in a prime position to be the first man to challenge ‘Sugar’ for his new swag.