Sean O’Malley ‘liked the stoppage’ in the UFC 281 main event: “That was trending in a bad way”

israel adesanya sean o'malley UFC 281

‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley is disagreeing with many fans. The UFC 281 main event saw a clash for the UFC middleweight world title between Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya. It was called off as a TKO in the final round as Brazil’s ‘Poatan‘ was landing strikes against ‘The Last Stylebender.’

Some MMA fans have declared that the stoppage was too early as Adesanya was still on his feet. Top-ranked UFC bantamweight Sean O’Malley discussed this on his podcast and explained that the stoppage was reasonable. He said:

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“I liked the stoppage just because I like ‘Izzy’ so much. If you don’t like ‘Izzy,’ you’re like, ‘Early stoppage!’ Because, dude, that was trending in a bad way. I would have rather seen it be an early stoppage than see ‘Izzy’ get KO’d and take two years off his career potentially. Like, a fat, like a clean, like that Frankie [Edgar] KO would’ve been bad for ‘Izzy.'” [Transcript courtesy Sportskeeda]

The Brazilian ‘Poatan’ Alex Pereira is now the UFC middleweight champion. He has defeated the Nigerian-Kiwi Adesanya in both kickboxing and MMA by way of knockout.

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The US-born Sean O’Malley is just coming off a victory against the former no. 1 ranked Petr Yan. ‘Sugar’ is now the top-ranked fighter in the competitive bantamweight weight class, only behind the reigning champion Aljamain Sterling.

See the full podcast episode below:

Referee Marc Goddard agrees with Sean O’Malley

The referee calling the action at UFC 281, Marc Goddard, explained that he stopped the fight at that time, due to fighter safety. On Twitter, the official explained:

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“Thank you to all who understand the role in which we play, protection is paramount. Decisions are over the second they are made, the conscience lives forever. Honored, blessed & thankful. On the biggest stage there is, of the fighters, for the fighters – they remain the Kings.”