Sean O’Malley Is the Muhammad Ali of MMA; Joe Rogan Gave One Reason Why

Sean O’Malley is undeniably one of the best bantamweight fighters on the current UFC roster. ‘Suga’ clinched the bantamweight title when he defeated Aljamain Sterling at UFC 292 last year in a Conor McGregor-style knockout. The 29-year-old extended his winning streak to 17-1 with that victory and is now riding a five-game winning streak. The right-hand punch that won him the title was so clean that even Joe Rogan was star-struck by it.

O’Malley will face Marlon Vera ͏in the former’s first title defense at UFC 299 this weekend in Miami. The heat is about to escalate with their rematch,͏ as ‘Chito’ is the only ͏fighter to have ever stopped ‘Suga’ in MMA. Ahead of this bout, we take a look at what Joe Rogan had to say about his previous fight and the right hand that won him the 135 lbs title.

Joe Rogan is all praise for Sean O’Malley

Sean O’Malley’s fight against Aljamain Sterling in August 2023 was not as easy as he made it look. There was an intense pressure on O’Malley to live up to his words. ‘Funk Master’ was on a 9-fight winning streak before his fight against O’Malley. Further, the narrative was that the UFC strong-handed Sterling to make a quick turnaround after his title defense at UFC 288 in May. And to make things even worse, O’Malley could not grapple in the weeks leading up to the fight due to an injury.

In fact, ‘Suga’ was even taunted by Sterling for having the Dana White privilege for getting the fight. So the pressure for winning the fight was much more than anything. Sean O’Malley’s coach, Tim Welch described the same while having a conversation with Joe Rogan. Welsh said, “It would take a Michael Jordan type of athlete to just have that kind of pressure to go against this guy who is the best on the fucking planet just being in the moment.”

Rogan interrupted Welsh to assert that O’Malley in that fight reminded him of Muhammad Ali. The commentator spoke of the champion’s fighting style, saying, “The result was amazing. That was probably one of the prettiest right-hands I have ever seen in my life. I mean it literally like Muhammad Ali’s,” said Rogan.

O’Malley’s victory against Sterling set the stage for the new era of the bantamweight division and skyrocketed his stardom. However, it seems like ‘Suga’ wants an adventure in the featherweight division, as well.

‘Suga’ wants to take on Ilia Topuria

Ilia Topuria, the new UFC featherweight champion of the world, has a bone to pick with Alexander Volkanovski. ‘El Matador’s fight against Alexander Volkanovski was a testament to his fighting prowess. Interestingly, ‘Suga’ and ‘El Matador’ might run a champ-champ match in the future, considering the fact that they have been engaged in online war of words.

O’Malley, in his UFC 299 interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, said, “Me vs. Ilia in September in Vegas at the Sphere. I got the Mexican flag right here [in the van]. Let’s make it happen. That would be the next fight if all goes to plan… I like having options. At the end of the day, what’s the biggest fight? I am a prizefighter. I like making money. Why would I go fight, ‘Oh, this guy’s a f****** killer, but you’re gonna make less money.?”

Sean O’Malley and Marlon Vera’s fight is set to happen this Saturday and if O’Malley achieves his victory against ‘Chito’ then there’s a slim probability that Dana White might arrange a fight between him and Topuria. What’s your take on this? Tell us about your opinion in the comments below.


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