UFC 276: A Tale of Two Sean’s

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Las Vegas is now playing host to UFC 276, as well as an assortment of characters from around the globe.

From Scotland to South Africa, the wildest MMA fans are all in attendance for International Fight Week. Two of the most interesting characters of this weekend’s festivities though, have microphones and are fighting on the UFC 276 card itself.

Sean O’Malley, sporting a vibrant pink hairstyle that has been subject to debate in the lead-up, seems confident in the outcome of his fight. He takes on Pedro Munhoz, a tough, hard-hitting veteran who has never been knocked out. O’Malley is a heavy favourite at around -300, but even he acknowledges this could be his toughest test to date.

His namesake, Sean Strickland, is expected to have a much tougher affair in the eyes of the oddsmakers. Now a -125 favourite in some places, he was the underdog yesterday and the day before that. His opponent Alex Pereira is somewhat of an anomaly. Holding two wins over current champion Israel Adesanya, many feel the Brazilian is meant to win this in order to set up an MMA rematch of the pairing. 

Back to the Suga Show, this really is a huge step up in competition for the electric bantamweight. On a three-fight stoppage streak, it’s easy to predict a fourth against an ageing veteran on a downward spiral. Pedro Munhoz however, is known to pack a punch of his own. Most well known for his knockout of former 135 pound champ Cody Garbrandt following a hellacious back and forth, he could very well be just too tough for O’Malley to get out of there.

Strickland faces more than just an elite kickboxer in his arranged match-up, he faces a choice. Should the American do what makes sense and try to grapple the inexperienced Pereria, or stay true to his ego and engage in the stand-up battle? 

Clearly, the logical answer is to grapple, Strickland though, enjoys a war as much as any man on the roster. That is the main danger for the brawler, himself.

UFC 276 Press Conference

As the press conference hit, everything changed for Strickland. After roasting Adesanya to the bone with such lines as “No man who beats off to cartoons is gonna beat me”, the MMA twitter community was polarised by his performance, but everyone has his name on their lips regardless of opinion. The unadulterated manner in which Sean Strickland spoke resonated with a lot of people, even if the content didn’t ring the same bell.

O’Malley once again seemed unfazed, and very much focused on the task at hand. “I plan to knock him out, but I can go the fifteen” was the message that came across loud and clear. As they faced off, he seemed fired up.

Final Thoughts

The two Sean’s are clearly facing their toughest tests in quite some time. However differently they handle their careers, they are very much men with their stocks set to go into orbit should they win on Saturday. 

Sean Strickland to win @ – 110

Sean O’Malley to win @ – 285

Sean Strickland by Submission @ +600

Sean O’Malley by Decision @ +162

What are your predictions for the two bouts?

Featured image credit to Embed from Getty Images

Featured image credit to Embed from Getty Images

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