TUF 26 Finale Newcomer Breakdown: Sean O’Malley

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 18: in their featherweight bout during Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series at the TUF Gym on July 18, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/DWTNCS)

Prior to each UFC card, Jay Primetown takes a close look at debuting fighters. In the latest installment, we look at exciting American prospect Sean O’Malley as he makes his UFC debut against Terrion Ware at The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale in Las Vegas, Nevada.  

Sean O’Malley

Hometown: Helena, Montana
Age: 23
Height: 5’11”
Reach: 72”
Weight Class: Bantamweight
Camp: MMA Lab
Career Record: 8-0
Key Wins: Alfred Khashakyan
Key Losses: None


The MMA Lab product enters the UFC with an undefeated record of 8-0. Of his eight wins, seven of them have come via stoppage. The rangy bantamweight was one of the most impressive fighters on the first season of the Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series as he showed quite a striking arsenal in his knockout win to earn himself a contract in the UFC.


  • Excellent length for the division
  • Quick jab down the middle
  • Really crisp boxing with knockout power
  • Uses a lot of leg kicks
  • Willing to take risks in the cage


  • Striking defense is porous
  • Holds his hands very low
  • Takedown defense is questionable at best
  • Can be pushed around by quality wrestlers 

Fighter Grade

Offensive Striking: C+
Striking Defense: D-
Knockout Power: C
Athleticism/Speed: C
Footwork: C-
Chin: D+
Offensive Wrestling: D
Takedown Defense: D-
Submissions: D+
Conditioning: D+
Intangibles: C-

Overall Grade: C-

Matchup with Terrion Ware

In a matchup that should see a lot of striking Terrion Ware welcomes Sean O’Malley into the UFC. In this bout, we’ll see a clash of striking styles. Ware has good hands and his striking game is boxing focused while O’Malley is unorthodox and will look to strike and land from unorthodox angles. Both fighters have some holes defensively, so I expect both fighters will have some success on the feet. Where the true difference lies in this bout is power. Ware is a point fighter with only one of his last five victories coming by knockout. On the flip side, O’Malley has knocked out his last five opponents. Look for O’Malley to land heavy in this bout and eventually hurt Ware to get the finish. Ware has decent technique, but the power advantage for O’Malley is too much to ignore in this bout. At -270, O’Malley is priced a bit out of the range I’d need him to be (-200 to -225) to consider a wager. 

UFC Ceiling

Only 23 years of age, Sean O’Malley is an interesting prospect in a division rich with good young fighters. He’s long for the weight class and has a fighting style that works well with it. He’s got good mechanics on the feet with power in his hands. O’Malley is very thin which makes him vulnerable to being pushed controlled and taken to the mat. He will need to add some wrestling and grappling techniques if he’s going to be a threat to the top 15 of the division. Training at MMA Lab is a good place to develop a more well-rounded skill set. 

Fight Film

Check out Sean O’Malley in some of his most recent fights:

Sean O’Malley vs. Alfred Khashakyan

Sean O’Malley vs. Tycen Lynn

Written by Jay Primetown

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