After a two year absence from the octagon, the Sugar Show returns at UFC 248. Last year, when UFC president Dana White gave the public a virtual tour of UFC headquarters, he talked about Sean O’Malley’s popularity. O’Malley certainly has charisma. He also has a flashy fighting style.
We take a look at some of Sean’s past fights to detail what makes the Sugar Show so fun to watch.
The world first saw the Sugar Show on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. O’Malley faced Alfred Khashkhyan. O’Malley displayed the tools at his disposal for the first time. As the opening round progressed, he got the better of the exchange on the feet. He then landed a flying knee to the body. O’Malley would throw a spinning back fist that missed. He soon followed it with an attempt at a triangle submission.
Eventually, O’Malley landed a big right and followed it up with a flying knee which this time connected. With less than a minute left in the first round, Sean finally landed a solid right hand which floored Alfred. He had secured his victory.
A big part of O’Malley’s style involves throwing spinning attacks either in the form of back fists or kicks. Another part is the various feints he uses. His fight on DWTNCS foreshadowed things to come.
O’Malley climbed the cage and proclaimed to the world “Welcome to the Sugar Show”.
O’Malley’s official UFC debut came in a finale of the Ultimate Fighter series. He would face Terrion Ware over three rounds.
The Sugar Show would continue. Sean landed a question mark kick to get things going. A left jab from an angle would make things more deadly for Ware.
Round 2 saw a slight hiccup for Sean. Ware’s corner noted that pressure worked well against O’Malley. Not for long though. O’Malley would land a jumping triangle attempt once more. He wasn’t successful and the fight went into the third round.
In round three, O’Malley would land a spinning leg kick. He later tried a spinning back fist, which turned into a spinning head kick.
The fight ended. The judges ruled unanimously in favour of O’Malley.
O’Malley’s most recent outing came against Andre Soukhamthath. It is perhaps his most famous fight. The first round saw all of the trademark Sugar Show tricks. There were feints. Several leg kicks kept Andre at range. O’Malley threw spinning attacks in combination. With forty seconds left, O’Malley landed and Andre was rocked. The round ended soon giving Soukhamthath relief.
If the theme of the first round was O’Malley’s striking, the theme of the second round would be his grappling. And his grappling was superior throughout. O’Malley would have three submission attempts in this round. The first was a triangle off his back. The second was a guillotine. Finally, he managed a rear-naked choke as well. Andre to his credit survived all three.
The third round would see a big change of fortune for O’Malley. He would end up injuring his leg. After this, Sean O’Malley had trouble standing. Ideally, Soukhamthath should have picked up on this. However, it escaped his attention. Such errors are common in the heat of the moment. Daniel Cormier yelled out as much on commentary.
With a minute and a half left, Andre dove for a takedown. It was a crucial error. O’Malley would survive on the ground. He even landed an elbow strike.
After the fight, O’Malley lay horizontal. It was now evident that he was very hurt. When the judges declared the winner, Joe Rogan had to walk over to where he lay. Rogan proceeded to get down on one knee and conduct a post-fight interview. During the post-fight interview, O’Malley proclaimed his love. His love for the sport and his love for the fans. Even his love for Joe Rogan. In return, Rogan assured him that the feelings were mutual.
Following this, O’Malley remained absent. He was due to compete last year but was held back. He’s faced issues outside of competition. At the moment, he has overcome these challenges. O’Malley headlines the prelim card. He’s a star. And he’s set to grow. However, some fans may not know him. Not yet.
Welcome to the Sugar Show.