The Suga Rush Continues

November 15, 2023
4 months

If you’re a Suga fan, you will love O’Malley’s latest shenanigans, but most of us can’t take this pink-haired, culturally inappropriate misogynist seriously. If you love MMA but can’t work out if O’Malley is for real, then read on.

MMA has a way of drawing out the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. In the case of O’Malley, we are looking at a guy who ticks all the above. The O’Malley alley cat was born in Montana, dropping out of school at 17 to focus on MMA.

No, it is an unusual story, especially in MMA, but since arriving on the scene in 2017, O’Malley is one of the most feared KO artists in the UFC bantamweight league. He uses his sharp and fearless striking skills to take control of every bout.

Very recently, O’Malley beat Aljamain Sterling at TD Garden in Boston, MA, with a lethal right-hand strike soon into round two, becoming the new bantamweight champion at UFC 292. Sterling is a fantastic UFC fighter who will live to fight another day, but Suga is better. 

O’Malley, a Rough Diamond from Treasure State

You could say O’Malley is a rough diamond right out of the Treasure State. You could say that, but that would be too polite. Suga has annoyed many people, none more so than his long-suffering wife, Danya Gonzalez, and the people surrounding her.

Gonzalez married O’Malley, or did she? Getting an exact date is challenging, but we can tell you they have a three-year-old daughter and an open relationship. It’s the publicity around the open relationship that has caused controversy. O’Malley took to his podcast (of course he did) and bragged that he cheated because he could – nice!

O’Malley says he is the ‘king and pays for everything,’ giving him the right to brag. There are several problems here. The last time we checked, Elvis was still king; even the UK’s King Charles has more rights to that monocle than Suga. According to Dana White, MMA’s Khabib Nurmagomedov deserves that royal title right now, which means O’Malley needs to hand the crown back.

It’s not the self-proclamation of royalness that has upset Vitor Belfort. It’s the overall misogynist statement, and his treatment of Gonzales has riled Belfort. The former UFC double-weight champion has taken to messaging O’Malley, threatening to teach him some manners for publicly disrespecting Gonzalez.

Is Vitor Belfort Overstepping the Suga Mark?

Band and Waggon spring to mind. Belfort is overstepping the mark and jumping on the publicity bandwagon. Unless Belfort has a vested interest in protecting Gonzalez, then he should butt out. Gonzalez is a grown woman who has made her bed, and who she shares it with is her business. As for Suga, he has other things on his mind.

Defending his first title could mean a match with Marlon Vera. Vera, the only man to beat O’Malley, is looking for a rematch during UFC 296 in Las Vegas. The fight might not take place, as no dates have been confirmed.  

Meanwhile, Belfort hasn’t fought a MMA bout since 2018, UFC 224. Belfort, now 46, has transitioned to veteran boxing, beating 60-year-old Evander Holyfield in September this year. 

What did we say about retiring gracefully? Let’s hope Belfort is showboating because pops beating up Junior isn’t a good look.

What’s Next for Sean O’Malley?

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A rematch with Sterling is likely, although Sterling is putting on the pounds and might move up a division. If a rematch isn’t on the cards, then the next possible victim is Merab Dvalishvili. Dvalishvili is an excellent fighter on a nine-fight win scorecard, nicknamed ‘The Machine.’ MD is a Georgian fighter hitting the top end of the scale at 135 lbs.

How about Cory Sandhagen? Sandhagen, also 135 lbs, is a ginger-bearded Coloradan devil and a top fighter in the bantamweight division of the UFC. This former kickboxer could deal one to Suga’s backside and also his reign.

Umar Nurmagomedov and Henry Cejudo might meet O’Malley, and both are worthy contenders, but the smart money goes on Vera; he knows what makes O’Malley tick and how to stop that ticking from tocking.

No End of Limelight for O’Malley

Suga is a star, and maybe not for all the right reasons; he’s cocky, but MMA is not forgiving; he’s brash, immature, and unable to refrain from running his mouth. Not an unusual trait by any means – fight fans will remember Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.’s ability to talk his way around the ring. 

The difference is CC (Muhammad Ali) was class, and his talk was an education in mind games; Suga, not so much. However, O’Malley has a fan-focused fight style, giving younger MMA fans what they want (good or bad). Fans look to Suga for a decisive win, a disruptive influence on the MMA trail.

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The scorecard reads 17-1-1, twelve KO, and one tap-out – 17 career victories ( eight in Octagon), a 77-78% finish rate in nine professional fighting years. Nine opponents left in the first round, including Eddie Wineland. Not bad for a skinny, badly tattooed kid from ‘Big Sky Country, ‘Montana.

Like it or not, O’Malley is a role model to young fans, appealing to Millennials, but mainly GenZ, and it shows in his social media reach. Suga has millions of followers on FB, X (formerly Twitter), and Instagram, peaking at over 650,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel aptly named Suga Sean.

So, life is good (on the face of it). Will O’Malley’s brash attitude change? Nope, he loves publicity and all the trappings of the good life; pictured recently after the Sterling fight, in a toweling bathrobe and Crocs (nasty plastic slip-on boat shoes) kissing his wife, he looks happy. Is he content? Unlikely, fighters like Suga are always on.

Does he care about Gonzalez? Yes, we hope he does. In the cut-throat world of MMA, you need people who have your back, and Gonzalez looks like a back protector; as for those ugly pink braids, it’s a NO from us!  

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