Sean O’Malley Opens Up About Reality Of Becoming UFC Champion, Claims UFC 299 Main Event ‘Feels Like First Time’ He’s Fought Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera

Sean O'Malley doesn't feel like his upcoming title defense against Marlon 'Chito' Vera is a rematch.

Sean O'Malley
Sean O'Malley (left) and Marlon 'Chito' Vera (right)(Images via Instagram @SugaSean and @ChitoVeraUFC)

Sean O’Malley revealed the reality of becoming a UFC champion recently sunk in for the first time. 

On August 19, 2023, O’Malley’s life changed forever when he secured a second-round finish against Aljamain Sterling to become the new UFC bantamweight champion. Although five months have passed, ‘Sugar’ is still coming to terms with his historic accomplishment. 

During an episode of the TimboSugarShow, O’Malley’s friend mentioned how surreal the experience to the top has been. The 29-year-old UFC champion responded by saying this: 

“It’s so crazy that we all, for whatever reason, had that same, and it’s faith at the end of the day that this was going to happen. We all knew it, but for it to actually happen is still f*cking crazy.”

O’Malley continued by detailing how he became emotional about his accomplishments while running earlier this month: 

“I was running and I walk like, I’m the champ of the bantamweight division right now, and I’m defending the belt in Miami in a rematch. The biggest fight you can make in the division, one of the biggest fights in the UFC right now, in Miami. I’m six weeks out, I think I was a little over seven at the time, I’m running and people always ask, ‘Has it hit you yet?’ That might have been when it actually hit me. I was like, woah.”

Sean O’Malley says the UFC 299 main event feels like the first time he’s fought Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera

On March 9, Sean O’Malley looks to defend his bantamweight title for the first time against Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera in the UFC 299 main event. This will be the second meeting between the world-class 135-pounders, as Vera secured a first-round knockout win against O’Malley in August 2020. 

O’Malley has discredited his loss against Vera and claimed he’s an undefeated fighter. During the previously mentioned podcast episode, ‘Sugar’ had this to say after reading a question about potentially feeling different for his second fight against ‘Chito’:

“It doesn’t feel like a rematch. I don’t know when the first fight ended. It was pretty quick, right? I didn’t feel like we fought and now we’re fighting again. I feel like this is the first time we’re fighting. That’s what it feels like…Since that fight, knocked out Thomas Almeida, knocked out [Raulian] Paiva, knocked out Kris Moutinho, knocked out Pedro Munhoz, knocked out Petr Yan, knocked out Aljo [Sterling]. I’ve just been on a knockout streak.”

Since defeating Sean O’Malley, Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera has gone 5-2 against mostly top-ranked bantamweights. He last fought in August 2023, defeating Pedro Munhoz by unanimous decision on the same night O’Malley became the UFC bantamweight champion. Vera now looks to secure a second win against ‘Sugar’ to claim UFC gold.

Watch the latest episode of the TimboSugarShow below:

Published on January 29, 2024 at 7:18 pm
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