With his lavish tattoos, explosive punching power, and huge, vibrant hair, Sean O’Malley is perhaps the most flamboyant fighter in the UFC.
Even his pet has actually got caught up in the buzz.
O’Malley went for a rainbow style in his hair at UFC 250, when the American produced a ruthless first-round knockout of Eddie Wineland to earn a co-main occasion spot for Saturday’s UFC 252.
Successive for the unbeaten bantamweight, 25, is Marlon Vera so this time he has colored his hair the red, yellow and blue of his Ecuadorian opponent’s nationwide flag. And, for the very first time, his Bichon Frise had his hair dyed too.
” That’s my kid Cush,” O’Malley tells BBC Sport. “He desired his hair like his father so we made it take place.
” I’m just showing my Ecuadorian fans some love. Every fight I like to do a little something different and have a good time. The fans love it, the media like it, it’s something to discuss.”
Since going back to action in March after two years out, he has actually become one of the sport’s most talked about fighters.
” I’m knocking individuals out, I have actually got vibrant hair and I’m yapping of smack so that’s how it goes,” he states. “The more that talk the better.”
‘ Welcome to the Sugar Show’
One of O’Malley’s very first MMA coaches nicknamed him ‘Sugar’ because he’s “sweet to enjoy”, and UFC fans soon got a taste when he appeared on the first season of Dana White’s Competitor Series in 2017.
He showcased his attractive style with spinning kicks and flying knees before producing a one-punch knockout of Alfred Khashakyan which brought UFC president White to his feet.
O’Malley celebrated with a backflip in the past getting on top of the cage and roaring “Welcome to the Sugar Program”. On the other hand, rapper Snoop Dogg, supplying alternative commentary, shrieked his name over and over, including: “I got ta fulfill this kid, male.”
It was no surprise to see O’Malley awarded a UFC agreement that night prior to hanging out with Snoop in his trailer.
O’Malley, who trains in Phoenix, Arizona, then showed he has grit to opt for the glamour by claiming a choice win over Andre Soukhamthath on his full UFC launching in March 2018 in spite of suffering a foot injury.
After taking his professional record to 10 -0, O’Malley had to conduct his post-fight interview while he lay on the canvas, and the increasing star was then pushed into a two-year break.
‘ I’m co-main event since I’m making Snoop Dogg go nuts’
In October 2018 and then August 2019, O’Malley was provided six-month bans for screening favorable for a performance-enhancing substance, ostarine, although the UFC acknowledged the second event was a case of “supplement contamination” and there had been “no proof of intentional use”.
It still indicated an overall of two years out of the octagon.
It likewise provided O’Malley time to reassess his profession and construct his brand. He does a podcast with his friend and coach Tim Welch, he live streams on Twitch and has a YouTube channel.
Last month, O’Malley released his own product range, with the very first batch of 100 jerseys selling out in 39 seconds, however he states combating comes first.
” I got a little bit of prestige from the Andre battle and I believe those two years off provided me a lot of time to believe and comprehend that I have to remain grounded, keep the same circle around me and take pleasure in the little things in life to keep me humble,” he states.
” There’s a lot of leisure time as an expert athlete and I capitalise on that. I delight in doing all those things. However I’m not in the co-main occasion area because I’ve got a million fans on Instagram, it’s because I’m knocking individuals out, making Snoop Dogg go bananas.”
Sugar Show 2.0
In his first battle back, O’Malley finished Mexico’s Jose Quinonez in the preliminary in March. He called it “Sugar Program 2.0”, however actually it’s the same old Sugar.
” I don’t enter there believing I have actually got to be expensive, it’s simply what I do,” he says. “I’m a natural-born fighter. I believe my design, my body type, is the very best for combating.”
O’Malley followed that up with the success over Wineland and he now has his 3rd fight in five months.
It again happens in an empty arena in Las Vegas, so he’s asked fans to movie their response “when” he knocks Vera out.
” I simply see another emphasize reel KO,” he says. “Knowing I’m going to have millions see me do what I love to do is my inspiration. I take pleasure in watching how I make individuals feel and the fan reaction to my last knockout was fantastic.”
O’Malley has an Irish granny and Conor McGregor would be his “dream battle”, however he feels challenging for Petr Yan’s bantamweight title in 2021 “would make sense”.
To do that, he should initially beat Vera in a “striker versus grappler match-up” in the current episode of the Sugar Program.
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