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UFC 299: Sean O’Malley batters Marlon Vera for first bantamweight title defense

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MARCH 09: (L-R) Sean O'Malley knees Marlon Vera of Ecuador in the UFC bantamweight championship fight during the UFC 299 event at Kaseya Center on March 09, 2024 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Sean O’Malley appeared greater than notable at UFC 299. (Photograph through Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC by means of Getty Pictures)

Sean O’Malley avenged the one lack of his MMA profession to notch his first UFC bantamweight name protection.

The 29-year-old ruled challenger Marlon Vera from the primary to the 5th around at UFC 299 on Saturday, strolling away with a unanimous shutout determination win (50-45, 50-45, 50-44) on the Kaseya Middle in Miami.

Not one of the rounds had been in particular near, save for the fourth around. O’Malley is without doubt one of the maximum vicious and tactical strikers within the UFC and Vera simply couldn’t in finding a gap for the primary 3 rounds. The wear and tear on his face regularly constructed up and there used to be minute confusion concerning the consequence barring a amaze end within the championship rounds.

The toughest shot got here on a knee to Vera’s face in the second one around. O’Malley mentioned he felt one thing split there upcoming the fit.

“I felt something in his face break,” O’Malley mentioned. “I don’t know if it was his nose, his cheek or maybe I’m just feeling s***, but I felt like something snapped.”

Vera had extra hour within the fourth around and had O’Malley in peril every now and then, however not anything got here of it. On the very least, Vera confirmed an notable chin, however there are few rewards for that until paired with one thing else.

Vera didn’t truly have a lot else, no less than till the overall seconds of the struggle when a frame shot stuck O’Malley so dehydrated he wanted a couple of moments prior to the verdict used to be declared.

“That was a nice shot. That was a nice shot,” O’Malley mentioned, with out elaborating.

Finishing apart, it used to be as sturdy a begin to O’Malley’s reign as he will have quite was hoping for. O’Malley’s report now sits at 18-1 (1 no-contest), with the only real loss coming to Vera at UFC 252 in 2020, the place the veteran stunned him with a first-round TKO win. There have been incorrect surprises Saturday.

It used to be that win which principally were given Vera the primary shot at O’Malley’s name, and O’Malley used to be satisfied to even the ranking. He even attempted to argue the win makes him undefeated once more, which isn’t the way it works.

“Chito’s as tough as they get,” O’Malley mentioned. “That one feels good, getting that one back. I’m guessing we can all agree that I’m undefeated still.”

Sean O’Malley needs Ilia Topuria for after UFC struggle

So far as the place O’Malley is going from right here, there may be one clear possibility. Merab Dvalishvili has gained 10 directly fights, with contemporary wins over former champs Petr Yan and Henry Cejudo, and used to be in attendance for UFC 299. Giving anyone else a shot at O’Malley could be an astounding determination.

O’Malley mentioned he sought after anyone else, particularly the recently minted featherweight champion Ilia Topuria.

“Dana, get me a jet to Spain, baby. I’m coming for Ilia Topuria,” O’Malley mentioned. “Ilia excites me. Going up a weight class excites me. But honestly, I’m here for whatever. If you want me to knock out Merab, I’ll do that too. Ilia’s an exciting fight for the people.”

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