UFC bantamweight prospect Sean O’Malley has followed up his first professional MMA loss to Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera at UFC 252 with another defeat – this time at a jiu-jitsu tournament in Phoenix, Arizona.

Robert Degle met O’Malley in the finals of the tournament and managed to catch ‘Suga’ in a heel hook to take first prize. Post-match the John Danaher brown belt took to social media to praise O’Malley for his willingness to keep developing as a martial artist despite being so established in the MMA world, he wrote.

“Had a great opportunity to compete against the rising UFC star @sugaseanmma in a @grapplingindustries event here in Phoenix, Arizona. For Sean to compete in such an event demonstrates a very respectable desire to grow as a martial artist. Realistically he had nothing practical to gain by doing this event. The man has over a million followers and is surely making bank in MMA. So why do the event? We spoke afterwards and he explained that he simply loved JuJitsu. I hope the experience of competing against me helps push him to further development as a martial artist. I was a fan before but an even bigger one now.” 

Do you think Sean O’Malley will be able to bounce back from his first professional loss?

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.