Jamahal Hill On UFC 299: Sean O’Malley’s Improved ‘Tremendously’, Chito Vera’s Game ‘Stayed The Same’

From UFC 252 to UFC 299, former champ Hill breaks down highly-anticipated rematch.

Vera Omalley 1
(via @sugasean - Instagram)

It’s been almost four years since Sean O’Malley and Chito Vera crossed paths. 

At UFC 252, Vera came out victorious in their first encounter after dispatching O’Malley with a kick to perennial nerve and follow-up ground and pound for a TKO.

O’Malley’s only loss on his record belongs to Vera, but ‘Suga’ found his footing in his next six fights (one was a no-contest) and captured the UFC Bantamweight title from Aljamain Sterling at UFC 292. Vera’s time at the top hasn’t expired either, going 5-2 since stopping the current champ.

Hill On The Evolution Of O’Malley, Vera

Vera is now set to challenge O’Malley in the main event of UFC 299 on Mar. 9. Despite the TKO result from their previous meeting, Jamahal Hill believes the rematch could be an entirely different matchup.

“You’re gonna get a lot of good display on the feet,” Hill said on ‘War Council‘. “Sean O’Malley’s very fast. He has very good striking, and he’s very athletic. Chito likes to come forward. He likes to engage you, getting in your face and make it a brawl and make it dirty and make it ugly. Last fight, he was able to land a leg kick on Sean that caused a reaction in his leg that enabled Sean. He was able to get on him and and get the finish.

“I think Sean’s improved a lot tremendously since the last time they fought. I think Chito, while I believe Chito has improved, but his game has kinda stayed the same.”


O’Malley Can Put Vera In A ‘Very Bad Spot’ 

UFC 300 headliner Hill thinks O’Malley has a lot more tricks up his sleeve than Vera would. Hill details what O’Malley’s path to victory is against his longtime rival. 

“There’s still question marks and things about Sean’s game that he can still show like some in-the-pocket boxing and some straight up boxing. We’ve seen the kicks and things like that. Chito is what you see is kinda what you get. He’s gonna walk forward. He’s gonna put a he’s gonna put a teep kick on you. He’s gonna put a long jab on you. He’s gonna try to land good straight shots. He’s gonna try to catch you with a hook on the outside whenever you try to circle out. I suggest that he does that: try to get in Sean’s face. The only thing about this, Sean has very fast feet, so it’s gonna be hard to corner him.”

“When [Vera] puts it on you, sometimes he admires his work, and he wants to just lay a hard, heavy shot on you. Thinking about that is kinda leaves you labored in where you are. If [O’Malley] is able to roll that, catch that, and counter that with with some fast combos, he can put you on a very bad spot. I think that’s what he should do. Come out, put put him on, take advantage of the slow start from Chito Vera, put him on his back leg first, and put him through some adversity early.”

Hill Tells Vera To ‘Find That Leg Kick Again’

Along with O’Malley, Hill gives Vera some advice before his first world title fight in Miami. While their first fight didn’t last long, Hill would like to see Vera try to build off the success he had in that opening round in 2020.

“For Chito, I think he needs to try to find that leg kick again,” Hill continued. “Try to find that kick that you were finding on him that first fight, slow him down. You have to slow him down. You have to take away Sean out of his legs. His footwork and his movement is just too good for for for him not to be a danger to you to end the fight by you just trying to walk in on him or just trying to just simply just cut him off the traditional way.

“You have to add different elements in to cut him off. You have to faint. You have to pop some sauce, some jabs. You have to sell him on some things and probably even threaten a f***ing takedown. You gotta at least at least have him worried about it because if only thing he’s worried about is your hands and him being sharp and creative, I think that’s a bad spot.”

Published on March 1, 2024 at 1:48 pm
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