Sean O’Malley has announced he will return to the Octagon on February 13 at UFC 258.

The popular bantamweight prospect took to social media to confirm the date of his return but stopped short of announcing an opponent for his eagerly anticipated comeback.

O’Malley has not been seen in action since his first professional loss. ‘Suga’ made a considerable step up to face Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera at UFC 252 in August. On the night, things went horribly wrong for the highly touted prospect who suffered a first-round TKO loss. A few minutes into the fight O’Malley was caught with a leg kick to his right leg. From then on he dealt with some real notable difficulties laterally moving around the Octagon and shifting his weight. Following an engagement before the culmination of the round, O’Malley fell to the canvas. Assuming stacked guard, Vera unleashed a left hook, followed by a massive elbow – with referee Herb Dean separating the two.

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Since the fight O’Malley has had a hard time accepting defeat. The youngster event claimed to be “mentally” 12-0 despite being stopped by ‘Chito’ in the UFC 252 co-main event.

“Did he (Marlon Vera) win? Yes,” O’Malley said. “Am I undefeated? Yes. Mentally. I’m 12-0. I didn’t lose sh*t. I was dominating that fight. I felt superior in there until my foot gave out. I know you guys – I probably sound stupid, but that’s ok, ’cause look at me, (takes off his hat) I’m not that smart.”

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Prior to that loss, O’Malley was arguably the brightest prospect in MMA. Since impressing on Dana White’s Contender Series he had put together four consecutive wins under the UFC banner. The 26-year-old took his stardom to the next level by scoring a shocking one-punch finish of former WEC bantamweight titleholder, Eddie Wineland earlier this year.

Who do you want to see Sean O’Malley fight at UFC 258?

A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.