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LAS VEGAS – Sean O'Malley thinks his latest knockout win could’ve come a few seconds sooner.
O’Malley put away Brazil’s Thomas Almeida on the pay-per-view main card of Saturday’s UFC 260. O’Malley (13-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) connected with a short left in the third round that sent Almeida (22-5 MMA, 5-5 UFC) to the canvas. To follow up, O’Malley took a second before he pounced over an unresponsive Almeida to land a final blow, which forced the referee to call the fight.
The 26-year-old doesn’t think the last strike was needed since he already thought Almeida was done.
“It was still potential viral. I think it was a good knockout, (but) that shot was unnecessary,” O’Malley told reporters at the post-fight news conference. “I looked into his eyes – he wasn’t there. But in the first round, after (the referee) said, ‘Hey, if I don’t stop it, you have to keep fighting,’ I had to give him my little ‘2,’ a juicer to the lips.”
O’Malley wobbled Almeida in the first round, then dropped him to the canvas. “Suga” tried to pull off a walk-off knockout, but the referee didn’t wave off the fight. O’Malley had to keep going and didn’t find the finish that round.
O’Malley isn’t sure the fight should’ve been stopped in the first, but he’s glad the referee didn’t since he got extra cage time.
“I’d have to see it, but I’m glad he didn’t,” O’Malley said. “I got to go a whole other round. The amount of times I watch my fights is ridiculous. I’m my No. 1 fan. I think that’s why I improve so much. I record every single sparring round and I watch it. I watch it in slow motion and I’ll send sweet clips to my coaches. So the fact that I got to go a whole other round or round and a half, I’m OK with that because I’m going to watch it 100 times.”
The win got O’Malley back in the win column after a loss this past August to Marlon Vera, the first of his career. As far as what’s next, O’Malley doesn’t care who he fights, but does want to get one more bout before the end of 2021.
“I want to fight before the end of the year,” O’Malley said. “I don’t know when. I don’t know who. I want to get back in the G-I. I want to train and I want to get better. That’s my priority.”