Two years between fights and it seems Sean O’Malley only got better during his time off.
Following a long, sordid saga dealing with USADA and state athletic commissions regarding drug test results, O’Malley finally made his long awaited return to the Octagon on Saturday night and he needed less than three minutes to finish Jose Quinonez by TKO in the opening round.
“It’s hard to put into words,” O’Malley said following his victory. “You can’t really put it into words. It feels good.”
The Suga Show wasn't canceled, it was just between seasons. Welcome back @SugaSeanMMA.— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) March 8, 2020
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O’Malley didn’t show an ounce of ring rust in his first fight back since 2018 as he came out looking loose and ready to deal with whatever Quinonez threw at him.
The former Ultimate Fighter: Latin America competitor came after him with an aggressive game plan from the first second of the opening round but O’Malley did a masterful job staying out of range and circling away from any trouble.
Once Quinonez overplayed his hand, O’Malley tossed him to the mat and then followed up with a lightning quick head kick that shredded his opponent’s defense.
As soon as O’Malley had Quinonez rattled, he pressed forward to go for the kill as he connected with a punch and then a barrage of hammer fists until the referee saw enough to stop the fight at 2:02 into the opening round.
“It’s definitely the Suga Show 2.0,” O’Malley said regarding his performance.
It was a long road back for O’Malley but the promising bantamweight prospect definitely lived up to the hype that has surrounded him since he first arrived in the UFC from Dana White’s Contender Series.