Sean O’Malley was looking to put on a show at UFC 264 but late notice replacement Kris Moutinho wasn’t going to make it easy for him.
While O’Malley dominated the fight from start to finish with incredible accuracy and nasty striking combinations, Moutinho was like a zombie absorbing damage and refusing to go away. Finally in the third round, Herb Dean decided to stop the fight in somewhat controversial fashion after Moutinho took several consecutive shots yet he was still on his feet and moving forward.
Ultimately, O’Malley got the win by TKO with the stoppage coming at 4:33 in the third round.
“Kris is a tough motherf*cker,” O’Malley said after his win. “I was and I wasn’t [surprised by the stoppage]. That’s a lot of head damage. He might not think that was a good stoppage but that might have saved him a couple of years on his life. I was about to put him out for good.”
These exchanges #UFC264 pic.twitter.com/oJhygs274y— UFC (@ufc) July 11, 2021
Pretending that he was dribbling a basketball between strikes, O’Malley was having fun from the very start of the fight while picking Moutinho apart as the newcomer was coming forward with pure aggression. O’Malley was deadly accurate with his counter punches while also connecting with some nasty kicks ot the head and body.
While dancing around the octagon, O’Malley was just blasting Moutinho with his straight punches and showing almost no fear of the strikes coming back from his opponent. O’Malley was giving Moutinho nightmares with his fast and accurate boxing including a blistering right hand that dropped the New England native down to the ground.
Time ran out before O’Malley could get the finish but he was in complete control as the fight moved into the second round.
With Moutinho in pursuit, O’Malley was just picking and choosing his punches and then circling away before he could take any damage in return. That said, Moutinho refused to slow down as he just kept marching forward and coming after O’Malley with everything in his arsenal.
Even though he was absorbing far more shots than he was dishing out in return, Moutinho was still aggressive, throwing punches and trying his best to trap O’Malley against the cage.
Late in the third round, O’Malley was determined to finish the fight after busting up and bloodying Moutinho, the referee saw enough and decided to call a halt to the contest.
Following his second straight win, O’Malley then took aim at the top of the bantamweight division as he seeks to take a decided step up in competition.
“Cody Garbrandt hasn’t won a fight since 2012,” O’Malley shouted. “Petr Yan is petrified. Dominick Cruz is ducking me. [Rob Font] where you at?”