Sean O'Malley

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Sean O’Malley insists short-notice opponent Kris Moutinho is a ‘nobody’ but ‘not just a scrub’

Sean O’Malley meets unknown short-notice opponent Kris Moutinho ahead of their scheduled bout at UFC 264, after complaints from MMA fans that he’s not on O’Malley’s level.

Last week, Sean O’Malley’s originally proposed opponent for his upcoming 10th July clash, Louis Smolka, pulled out of their main card slot with a staph infection, leaving the UFC in search of a short-notice replacement. Several bantamweights clambered at the chance of being a part of UFC 264, with the prospect of competing on a card headlined by Conor McGregor-Dustin Poirier 3 being too good to pass up.

Amongst those names was Ricky Simon, who looked set to face O’Malley in a fight with tantalizing potential. Unfortunately, reports surfaced that despite Simon’s willingness to compete, he was unable to make the 135 pound limit on such short-notice.

As a result, Sean O’Malley found himself matched with unknown UFC debutant Kris Moutinho.

Moutinho currently sits at 9-4 as a professional mixed martial artist, having made his pro debut back in September 2016 for CES MMA. The 28 year old fighting out of Milford, Massachusetts has amassed a decent résumé of UFC veterans in his professional and amateur career, including Manny Bermudez and Tony Gravely. However, with limited achievements of note, many fans have voiced their displeasure over the choice of opponent by the UFC.

At the UFC 264 pre-fight press conference, O’Malley was met with questions over the legitimacy of his opponent, to which he was quick to defend his adversary: ” This kid’s tough, I watched one of his fights this morning for the first time, he’s not just a scrub, he’s not a nobody, I mean he is kind of a nobody, no one really knows who he is, but to be fair not a lot of people know who Simon is really.”

“He might go in there thinking it’s a win-win for him,” O’Malley said. “He goes out there and loses, he’s in the UFC. But I don’t just knock people out. I change people’s careers. Mentally, the way I knock people out, they step into that cage and they’re different the next time they get out there. So it could be the beginning of his career or it could be the end of his career. So, we’ll see.”

 

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