Suga Sean O’Malley is back! He took on Raulian Paiva. He suffered the loss of his career against Marlon Vera at UFC 252. He subsequently bounced back and won 2 more fights against Thomas Almeida and Kris Moutinho.
Raulian Paiva came into this fight with a record of 21 wins and 3 defeats. He last defeated Kyler Philips who was ranked in the top 15 for a brief period of time. Paiva edged out a decision against Kyler on his debut in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The Brazilian is a very well rounded fighter with noticeable skills in both departments.
Hence the fight was going to be a good test for Sean O’Malley to see if he is ready to take that big step into the upper echelon of the division. Coming into this fight, O’Malley has a significant advantage in the height and reach department. The easiest path to victory for him was to keep his distance and use his speed to outland Paiva.
But taking it easy has never been Sean O’Malley’s forte. So how did the fight play out between the two? Let’s find out below.
Sean O’Malley knocks out Raulian Paiva
Both fighters started out in a conservative manner. Neither fighter started out with unnecessary aggression. O’Malley showed good head movement early on as Paiva tried to land a few right hands. He did successfully land a few shots. But the shots did not have much power behind them.
In the only loss of Sean’s career, Chito Vera landed some nasty calf kicks. But Paiva did not seem to follow that strategy and seemed keen on standing in front of him. Daniel Cormier pointed that out during the commentary.
The game plan to out-strike the budding superstar did not last very long as Sean O’Malley found his groove a few minutes into the first round. Around the 3 minute mark, the fight started to heat up. Both fighters exchanged punches and it was clear that Sean O’Malley had more power behind his punches.
The finishing sequence came when Sean O’Malley sneaked in a thumping right hand through the defence of Paiva and rocked him. Raulian shot for a takedown in desperation but that had no effect as O’Malley stuffed the takedown and finished Paiva with a multiple punch combo. The fight ended at the 4:42 mark of the very first round.