Sean O’Malley is one of the most popular bantamweights in the UFC despite not being ranked in the 135-pound division. His next opponent, Raulian Paiva, hopes to make the most of that.
Paiva is coming off a victorious bantamweight debut with a decision over Kyler Phillips last July. In an interview for MMA Fighting, Raulian said he was “a bit surprised” when he was offered the spot at UFC 269 against ‘Suga’ on December 11.
“O’Malley sells a lot, there is a lot of marketing around him. So that’s even better for us, for my work and for spreading my name in this new division. “
O’Malley made waves in the UFC since his knockout of Alfred Khashakyan at Dana White’s Contender Series in 2017. At 6-1 in seven UFC appearances, the bantamweight star has 2 wins after losing to Marlon Vera at UFC 252. a defeat that Paiva believes has shown a lot about his heart.
“‘Thominhas’ [Almeida] He was basically at the end of his UFC career, and Kris Moutinho, who took the fight in no time, was much lighter than him. Moutinho could take a beating, but it was way inferior, ”Paiva said of O’Malley’s most recent victories.
Paiva spoke about O’Malley’s weaknesses and the strategy ‘Chito’ Vera used to defeat him.
“He lost when he faced a great fighter. Marlon Vera has a lot of experience, he has a lot of fights in the UFC, he pushed him and that’s it. He got weak, he got desperate and that happened, he got a TKO. There are fighters who only know how to throw punches, but lose performance when under pressure. That’s what I see in O’Malley. If you give it space, it will do its thing. But he will start to despair and make more and more mistakes if you don’t give him space. That is basically what I will do. I’ll make him make mistakes at his own game. I’m going to push him from the first round to the last, if we get to the third round. “
Paiva sees O’Malley as a “good fighting style” and considers him a “talented” even though she thinks that ‘Suga’ makes his name famous for his out-of-cage antics rather than his fighting skills. struggle.
“As a fighter, he likes to look like Conor McGregor. But most of his followers come from his YouTube channel. He’s arrogant on social media and that gets him more followers. But not all fans really like his job as an MMA fighter, “he added. “They like the things he does more than their real job, which is fighting. But he is a young boy, a talented boy and he has everything to grow in the organization. I also want to grow in the organization and in this new weight class and I will not let his name be higher than mine ”.
Victorious in his last three Octagon appearances over Mark De La Rosa, Zhalgas Zhumagulov and Kyler Phillips, Paiva said he already knows what he will do when he enters the cage at UFC 269.
Paiva is hoping to be an underdog on fight night, but he doesn’t care, and projects a fight with “a top-5 or top-7” after finishing O’Malley.
“I can subdue him if he despairs, but my hand can land because he keeps his hands down,” Paiva said. “But I think it will be by submission.”