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LAS VEGAS – Sean O'Malley disagrees with those who said the stoppage of his latest win came a bit early.
The rising UFC bantamweight contender picked up a third-round TKO win over UFC newcomer Kris Moutinho in the main card opener of Saturday’s UFC 264 pay-per-view event.
The stoppage by referee Herb Dean came with 27 seconds left in the fight. Many online thought it was premature and that Moutinho (9-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC) should’ve been given the chance to go the distance, despite catching a lopsided beating from O’Malley (14-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) for the entirety of the fight.
“I think 30 seconds left, and I wanted to put his lights out, people just want to see people get their face battered in,” O’Malley told reporters at the post-fight news conference. “With 30 seconds, I could’ve landed 15, 20 more head shots and add it to the record or catch up to whatever record there is.
“Herb is the man – he did what he needed to do. That kid is probably at the hospital right now f*cking seeing triple. Kris wasn’t happy with the stoppage, but he should be happy. He took this fight on short notice and he hurt my hands. It was a good fight.”
O’Malley landed often and hard on Moutinho, who showed plenty of heart and durability. “Suga” said he never felt in trouble, but did give credit to his opponent for the gutsy performance.
“He landed a couple little shots, but I never felt like I was in danger,” O’Malley said. “I was in control of the fight the entire fight. I’m just at a different level, but I think he has a spot in the UFC.”
As far as what’s next, O’Malley is on a two-fight winning streak since his first professional defeat to Marlon Vera. The 26-year-old targets a matchup against top contender Rob Font, who recently defeated former champion Cody Garbrandt.
“I’m definitely not getting Petr (Yan) – he’s fighting (Aljamain Sterling),” O’Malley said. “I’m definitely not getting Cody (Garbrandt) – he’s going down to 125 (pounds). I don’t think Dominick (Cruz) is going to accept that fight. I think Rob will take it. I don’t see why not.
“He beats me, he gets a title shot. I’m the biggest draw at bantamweight right now. But if I don’t get it, I don’t care. I have 10 years of fighting. We’re going to fight everyone, so I’ll probably fight toward the end of the year.”