On the biggest card of the year, the rising star in the UFC featherweight division, Sean O’Malley took on UFC debutant Kris Moutinho.
Kris Moutinho was not the original opponent for Sean O’Malley. However, a short-notice replacement changed the life of Moutinho, who is 9-4 in his pro MMA career. Fans criticized O’Malley and UFC for not booking a ranked opponent as a replacement. But, the outcome of the fight must have pleased the fans at UFC 264.
This was a huge opportunity for Sean O’Malley. UFC 264 was a Conor McGregor card. It has the attention of fans worldwide. And it was a huge platform for O’Malley to gain some stardom with another viral KO.
However, the outcome of this fight shocked the world. Fans expected O’Malley to secure an easy win over Moutinho. However, Moutinho showed incredible heart and almost survived three rounds with O’Malley until Herb Dean makes a controversial decision.
Did Herb Dean make the right call in Sean O’Mally vs Kris Moutinho?
In the third round, with 1 min 27 seconds remaining on the clock, Herb Dean stopped the fight cause he felt Moutinho had taken a lot of damage. But, most of the fans and even Joe Rogan do not agree with Herb Dean.
Kris Moutinho did take a lot of damage throughout the fight. He absorbed over 200 significant strikes in the fight and for a bantamweight that’s an insane amount of punches. However, Max Holloway vs Calvin Kattar was not stopped despite Holloway landing over 700 strikes. So it does raise questions on Herb Dean’s controversial decision at UFC 264.
Besides the controversial stoppage, Sean O’Malley has a great performance. But, this fight did not do much to boost his star power. It was expected that O’Malley would get a viral KO and become a huge fan favorite in the future. However, Kris Moutinho had some success against O’Malley despite taking the fight on 11 days’ notice and he was making his UFC debut.
Read More: Ryan Hall gets KOed at UFC 264
O’Malley called out Cody Garbrandt and the bantamweight champion Petr Yan following his win over Kris Moutinho at UFC 264. And it seems the Garbrandt fight makes sense unless Garbrandt decides to move down to flyweight.