Brutal Sean O’Malley KO ‘just like McGregor’ as UFC fans say ‘here we go again’
Sean O'Malley has earned widespread comparisons to Conor McGregor for the manner in which he knocked out Aljamain Sterling to be crowned UFC bantamweight champion on Saturday.
The 28-year-old has been likened to the former dual-weight titleholder in the past for his charismatic personality and strike-first technique in the Octagon. However, the likeness between their fighting styles became clearer than ever after one fan spotted lined his second-round finish up alongside arguably McGregor's greatest victory.
And it's difficult to argue with the comparison after O'Malley timed an overhand counter to perfection, sending 'Funk Master' to the canvas before finishing him with some relentless ground and pound. 'Suga' made his UFC debut in December 2017 after impressing on Dana White's Contender Series and finally arrived on the throne at 135 pounds.
That's one division below McGregor's former stomping ground at featherweight, where the Irishman knocked Jose Aldo out cold to also be crowned a UFC champion for the first time. Granted, 'The Notorious' notched the cleaner victory to get his hands on UFC gold, but O'Malley's monstrous finish was like a mirror image of one of the most iconic moments in MMA history.
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The Montana native kept a cool head on his biggest stage to date and prioritised keeping his distance in a first round that likely went to the holder. However, Sterling paid the price for rushing in after landing a well-timed punch, with O'Malley all but shutting him down with a counter that belongs in the UFC record books.
"People have always made comparisons between Conor McGregor and Sean O’Malley," read an X post by MMA History Today, which showed footage of both knockout blows played in sync. "They both won their first UFC Championship in similar fashion."
And some fans appeared cautious over what this could mean for O'Malley as one joked: "Here we go again lol."
Who had the better finish out of O'Malley or McGregor? Let us know in the comments section below.
"That is a pretty accurate comparison," added another. A third remarked: "I hate how not similar this is."
Both McGregor and O'Malley have thrived with strike-heavy tactics, with each showcasing particularly prolific boxing skills in the UFC. Suga has finished six of his 11 UFC opponents to date with punches, adding Sterling to his collection and ending the New Yorker's nine-win streak.
'Aljo' was punished for entering O'Malley airspace when he smelled blood in the water himself. And English referee Marc Goddard gave the former every chance to rescue the outcome before waving him off.
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McGregor would undoubtedly argue the snappy nature of his 13-second win over MMA legend Aldo puts his feat on another level. What's more certain is the fact both brutal KOs deserve their spots among the history books, with O'Malley fulfilling many expectations by getting his hands on UFC silverware.
If there was any doubting O'Malley's list of past opponents and quality in top-tier matchups coming into Saturday's clash, the new king of the 135lb division put them to bed in conclusive fashion. And Suga already has Marlon Vera in his sights as his next opponent after 'Chito' also won in Boston by beating Pedro Munhoz via unanimous decision.
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