UFC 260 is a phenomenal card that features a lot of pivotal matchups. Headlining the event is Stipe Miocic defending his heavyweight title against Francis Ngannou, in a rematch three years in the making. On the card is a Thomas Almeida vs Sean O’Malley matchup that features two bright contenders looking to make it into the upper echelon of their division.
Tyron Woodley will also be fighting, taking on another young killer in Vicente Luque, who’s been brutalizing his way to the top. For Woodley, it’s a do or die, as he’s currently on a three-fight losing streak. Another loss could potentially see him cut from the UFC. It wouldn’t be surprising, as we’ve sadly been seeing a lot of legends released from the promotion recently.
Thomas Almeida vs Sean O’Malley could be one of the most sensational matches of the night, or it could be over in an instant. So let’s jump right in and see what makes this such an exciting fight!
The Road to Thomas Almeida vs Sean O’Malley
Thomas Almeida (22-4, 5-4 UFC)
Almeida is a 29-year-old Mixed Martial Artist from Sao Paulo, Brazil. A former Legacy FC Bantamweight Champion, Almeida was on a 17 fight win streak leading into his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 56. Most impressively of all, of those 17 victories, each and everyone came via KO/TKO or submission finish.
Almeida defeated Tim Gorman in his UFC debut via decision, the first of Almeida’s career. Continuing on the road to Thomas Almeida vs Sean O’Malley, we’d see the young Brazilian have a three fight year in 2015, winning every single fight by KO/TKO. Facing Cody Garbrandt at UFC Fight Night 88, we’d see two of the heaviest hitters in the bantamweight go toe-to-toe, and unfortunately Almeida would not come out on top, losing 2:53 into the first round via knockout.
Picking up another win at UFC Fight Night 100 against Albert Morales, we would see Almeida finish the fight via KO/TKO in his own hometown of Sao Paulo. From there, the road to Thomas Almeida vs Sean O’Malley would not brighten.
Now on a three-fight skid at the hands of Jimmie Rivera, Rob Font, and most recently Jonathan Martinez, Almeida has struggled to find a way back into the win column. This exciting finisher surely will be going for broke against O’Malley, and this is an extremely important fight in this young Brazilian’s road to the top.
Sean O’Malley (12-1, 4-1 UFC)
“Suga” Is one of the first in what is a new breed of upcoming Mixed Martial Artists. A twitch streamer, who also hosts his own podcast, O’Malley is actively working to create an image and brand that cements his persona into the landscape of MMA and Pop Culture.
Formerly a perfect 12-0, he hit a small roadblock on the path to Thomas Almeida vs Sean O’Malley when a vicious leg kick from Marlon Vera dropped O’Malley and led to some nasty ground and pound for “Chito” to secure the win. Rewinding time, O’Malley got his chance at a UFC contract on Dana White’s Contender Series after an impressive spinning hook kick earned him the KO victory against David Nuzzo at LFA 11.
Finishing Alfred Khashakyan with a knockout on DWCS, “Suga” would be awarded the contract and go on a four-fight win streak that would be capped off with a highlight reel finish against the treasured veteran Eddie Wineland at UFC 250.
Thomas Almeida vs Sean O’Malley Fight Breakdown and Prediction
As a very graceful fighter, “Suga” can prove very hard to hit with the hands, which could be why so many fighters look to take away his movement with kicks to the legs. Out of his five fights in the UFC, O’Malley has come away from two of those fights with badly injured legs. So, an obvious point of attack for his opponents would be there.
Almeida has 17 finishes by KO/TKO, and a lot of experience in the game compared to O’Malley. This matchup is truly striker vs striker, and it is sure to produce fireworks. The key to O’Malley’s success could be found by doing something as simple as starting fast. We’ve seen Almeida tend to struggle when thrown off his rhythm and take some time to get going. If “Suga” can start fast he could steal the momentum of the fight and look to control the action.
While O’Malley is more of a distance striker who looks to use his hands and footwork to set up his ridiculously savage fight-ending kicks, Almeida is more of a combination striker who thrives in the pocket.
Who will be able to implement their game plan, and be the one who lands back in the win column? The answer can come down to things as simple as calf kicks and footwork, but one thing is for certain. Thomas Almeida vs Sean O’Malley is a fight you definitely do not want to miss!
Thomas Almeida vs Sean O’Malley Prediction
On paper, this fight seems like it can go so many ways. Will one of these knockout artists get the finish? Or is it a three-round war? Maybe a slow-paced technical kickboxing match, or will one of these two men look to grapple and make it a true MMA fight?
When it comes to Thomas Almeida vs Sean O’Malley, many are counting Almeida out, and you could say they have good reason. On a three fight skid, things aren’t going too good for this young Brazilian killer. However, could we witness another upset just like we did when “Chito” Vera took on O’Malley. Overall, this could either be the fight that gets the “Suga Show” back on track, or the one that really leads the toxic part of the MMA community to drag his name through the coals. For Almeida, his UFC career could be on the line if he suffers another loss here, so let’s just say that there’s a lot at stake here riding into UFC 260.
Thomas Almeida vs Sean O’Malley Prediction: Sean O’Malley wins via first-round knockout
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