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Cody Garbrandt seems to enjoy watching the “Sugar Show” from a cozy armchair for now. You could say he’s a fan, but not a fanatic.
Sean O’Malley has now joined Garbrandt in the dazzling hall of fame of UFC bantamweight champions after his mighty second-round TKO over Aljamain Sterling at UFC 292 last Saturday. This much-anticipated event was expected to see both stars going head to head in the octagon for the second time, their debut showdown being at UFC 269 in December 2021. Unfortunately for “No Love” Garbrandt, an injury pulled him away from this date with destiny and his clash with O’Malley’s mate, Mario Bautista.
These two bantamweight knockout masters haven’t exactly been sending each other holiday cards since almost coming to blows at a pre-fight press conference that year. However, Garbrandt doffs his cap to the new title holder while still sizing him up as competition.
“I’m all smiles for ‘Sugar’ Sean,” Garbrandt said on Believe You Me, clearly not letting his nickname “No Love” get in the way of a little sportsmanship. “It’s awesome he’s a champion in our division, but boy, does he have some holes and weaknesses just waiting to be revealed. For now, though, let the man bask in his championship glory and what he pulled off on Saturday night.”
O’Malley and Garbrandt took different paths on that fateful night they fought. The new champ scored a first-round TKO over Raulian Paiva, while Garbrandt made a brief appearance as a flyweight, falling to Kai Kara-France’s strikes in the opening round.
Regarding how O’Malley managed former champ Sterling, Garbrandt was impressed, noting that the big stage didn’t intimidate the Dana White Contender Series graduate.
“Cheers to ‘Sugar’ Sean for stepping up, rising above the hype, and sending Aljamain packing,” Garbrandt said. “Watching that bout, I felt like Aljamain was just too eager to get it on the ground. He wasn’t at ease with the dance floor. I’ve got the best moves in the whole bantamweight division, and I knew that would be a challenge in the larger ring.”
He further added, “‘Sugar’ Sean is a sly counter striker, and Sterling dived in, leaving himself wide open like a convenience store at midnight. You can’t make that mistake with a skilled counter striker like Sean. He knew Aljamain’s playbook: Take him down and wrestle like a bear. ‘Sugar’ Sean was like, ‘You’ll have to wrestle my shadow, buddy.’ Aljamain made a pricey error that cost him the crown.”
Now 32, Garbrandt has been striving to climb back to his 2017 championship peak. With a current 2-5 record (13-5 overall), he last celebrated a win against Trevin Jones at UFC 285 in March.
Though some might say the intense 135-pound division has left Garbrandt in the dust, he’s not bitter about the tide of new talent. For him, this is just an intermission, and he sees more big moments on his horizon.
“It doesn’t eat at me,” Garbrandt said about the evolution of the division. “I truly think my finest hours are yet to come. I need to get my body in gear, and once that’s right, the mind, heart, and soul will follow. I love this sport more than a geek loves a limited edition collectible. But hey, kudos to those guys.”
Other top stories and notes include:
- A recap of PFL 9 results, with a hint of drama, athleticism, and a dab of rivalry.
- Mayra Bueno Silva’s bold response to Julianna Pena’s cheating claims: “Get ready to throw in the towel, coach!”
- A rather random suggestion by Keith Lee for a Mr. Beast fight on an Elon Musk vs. Mark Zuckerberg card (Maybe the ring can be in cyberspace?).
- Exciting crossovers and insights into potential matchups that are bound to keep the MMA community on its toes.
- Various trailers, video highlights, and podcast segments that will surely entertain any MMA aficionado.
So, as we wrap up today’s morning report, one might wonder how many title defenses Sean O’Malley will achieve. Will he hold onto his crown like a kid clutching his favorite action figure, or will the new wave of contenders pry it from his grasp? Only time will tell.
Thanks for tuning in, and don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with @DrakeRiggs_ on Twitter. Stay connected with the world of MMA, and keep your passion alive!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about MMA Analysis
Who won the UFC bantamweight gold at UFC 292?
Sean O’Malley secured the UFC bantamweight gold with a second-round TKO victory over Aljamain Sterling at UFC 292.
What’s Cody Garbrandt’s take on O’Malley’s victory?
Cody Garbrandt admires Sean O’Malley’s championship win but believes there are weaknesses to expose in his game.
Did Garbrandt and O’Malley fight on the same night recently?
Yes, they were expected to fight on the same night at UFC 292, but an injury prevented Cody Garbrandt from facing O’Malley’s teammate Mario Bautista.
What’s Garbrandt’s opinion on O’Malley’s fighting style?
Cody Garbrandt sees Sean O’Malley as a skilled counter striker and believes Aljamain Sterling’s mistakes allowed O’Malley to capitalize on the fight.
How does Garbrandt feel about the evolving bantamweight division?
Despite facing challenges, Cody Garbrandt remains positive and believes his best performances are yet to come, expressing enthusiasm for the sport’s future.
What other stories are covered in the text?
What’s the future outlook for Sean O’Malley’s title defenses?
The text speculates on how many title defenses Sean O’Malley might achieve, pondering if he’ll maintain his grip on the championship in a competitive division.