Chael Sonnen: Sean O’Malley’s win over Marlon Vera ‘the single best performance I’ve ever seen’

Chael Sonnen was in awe of UFC bantamweight champion Sean O'Malley’s performance against Marlon Vera.

O’Malley (18-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC) put a striking clinic on Vera (21-9-1 MMA, 15-8 UFC) for five rounds to retain his title in Saturday’s UFC 299 main event. Sonnen was especially impressed with O’Malley’s ability to control range and hit Vera from all angles.

“I was with Henry Cejudo last night, very good friends, so no bias here, the best ’35-pounder I’ve ever seen is Dominick Cruz – move over, Dominick,” Sonnen said on the ESPN UFC 299 post-fight show. “I mean, that was the single best performance I’ve ever seen. Controlling range to that ability … Merab (Dvalishvili) will be the favorite here. People are going to forget this real quick.

“However, I now have my own questions. You want to know why ‘Chito’ didn’t try to take him down? The same reason the other five guys never tried to take him down: They can’t get inside. He controls range. It is an unbelievable thing. He will hit you going that way (forward), he will hit you backing up, he will hit you going to the side. Nobody can do that.”

Although O’Malley was seen sporting a cast on his hand and foot after the fight, Sonnen praised him for having the cardio to outlast Vera in a five-round fight.

“I would also like to tip my hat a little bit to the endurance,” Sonnen said. “I questioned if Sean could hold up for 25 minutes.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 299.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie