After much anticipation, fan-favorite, ‘Suga’ Sean O’Malley returns to the Octagon after his domination of UFC newcomer Kris Moutinho.
O’Malley is set to fight No.15 ranked Raulian Paiva at UFC 269 on December 11th. Pavia is currently riding a three-fight win streak in the UFC and has proven himself as a top bantamweight. Like O’Malley, Pavia emerged from the Dana White Contender Series.
This announcement has come with some criticism, many believe O’Malley is taking easy fights, especially since recently declining a bout with Frankie Edgar.
The criticism fell particularly hard on O’Malley after his bout with late replacement Kris Moutinho. Moutinho was coming in with a 9-4 record while O’Malley was a -1200 favorite. O’Malley ended up landing 230 of 318 significant strikes.
O’Malley spoke about his upcoming fight on the latest episode of the TimboSugarShow and says despite the fact he’s booked against a ranked opponent fans will still give him stick, he said.
“Now I’m fighting someone ranked, they’re like who’s this?
The criticism also follows as O’Malley is consistently calling out and taking jabs at top bantamweights like Cody Gardrandt and Petr Yan.
Arguments on either side on whether O’Malley is taking the easiest fights possible are valid. On one side, bar the one loss, all but two of O’Malley’s opponents have been cut by the UFC and one of them is debutante Moutinho.
On the other hand, this may be realistically the level at which he should be fighting. O’Malley does already have a good win over former contender and UFC veteran Eddie Wineland. And when O’Malley did step and ranked opponent he lost in the first round via TKO to Marlon Vera.
What do you think? Is Raulian Paiva a good opponent for Sean O’Malley?