Sean O’Malley vs. Thomas Almeida UFC 260 – Preview

Sean O'Malley
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JUNE 06: Sean O'Malley prepares to fight Eddie Wineland in their bantamweight bout during the UFC 250 event at UFC APEX on June 06, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

The “Suga” show is upon us ladies and gentlemen, and this Saturday at UFC 260, Sean O’Malley will look to smoke the hard-nosed Brazilian Thomas Almeida in a pivotal bantamweight showdown.

The March 27 pay-per-view is stacked and takes place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. While the heavyweight rematch between Francis Ngannou and champion Stipe Miocic demands the headlines, certainly by night’s end, much of the talk will be surrounding the winner of O’Malley and Almedia.

Sean O’Malley vs. Thomas Almeida – Battle Of The Strikers

Realistically, O’Malley could have easily headlined his own fight night card given the type of hype he has, but that can all come screeching to a halt if he can’t get past Almeida. With 17 career knockouts out of 26 fights, the Brazilian can undoubtedly spark Sean O’Malley if the opportunity was to present itself.

With the Chute Boxe background of Almeida, this all but promises to stay on the feet. Additionally, the bout has a special air of importance because fans and pundits alike get to see how O’Malley responds to his first professional loss. After two first-round knockouts over Jose Quiñonez and Eddie Wineland, the bantamweight’s ascension was electric. Prior to the nagging leg injury that led to him getting finished by No. 15 ranked Marlon “Chito” Vera, O’Malley looked unstoppable. As UFC 260 approaches, the young superstar will look to garner momentum against a dangerous opponent.

Conversely, the Brazilian Almeida has endured a couple of setbacks in the UFC, but all of them have been against top-rated opposition. Some of the losses Almeida suffered were to the currently ranked No.3 Rob Font, and No. 11 ranked Jimmie Rivera, so his record is deceiving in terms of how tough of an out he really is.

By The Numbers – Sean O’Malley vs. Thomas Almeida

Sean O’Malley Stats (Courtesy of ESPN)

  • SLpM: 6.35 – (Significant Strikes Landed per Minute)
  • Str. Acc.: 57% – (Significant Striking Accuracy)
  • SApM: 3.76 – (Significant Strikes Absorbed per Minute)
  • Str. Def: 64% Significant Strike Defence (the % of opponents strikes that did not land)
  • TD Avg.: 1.05 – (Average Takedowns Landed per 15 minutes)
  • TD Acc.: 50% – (Takedown Accuracy)
  • TD Def.: 61% – Takedown Defense (the % of opponents TD attempts that did not land)
  • Sub. Avg.: 1.1 (Average Submissions Attempted per 15 minutes)

Thomas Almeida Stats (Courtesy of ESPN)

  • SLpM: 5.39
  • Str. Acc.: 44%
  • SApM: 4.69
  • Str. Def: 64%
  • TD Avg.: 0.00
  • TD Acc.: 0%
  • TD Def.: 75%
  • Sub. Avg.: 0.0

A reflection of the statistics indicates that the chances of a takedown aren’t likely on Almeida’s part. O’Malley does have, on average, one submission per 15 minutes, so the possibility is definitely present. Granted, it would stand to reason that is one more avenue to victory for “Suga.”

In addition, an important stat to pay attention to is significant strikes absorbed per minute, and the American once again has the Brazilian beat there too, by a decent margin to boot. Overall, it would appear O’Malley on paper has Almeida beat, since the sample size is much smaller, and the numbers aren’t the ultimate factor to determine a fight’s result.

Don’t miss UFC 260 and Sean O’Malley’s return to action against Thomas Almeida this Saturday on ESPN+.

Featured Image credit:
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