On a night full of exciting finishes at the TUF 26 Finale, Sean O’Malley and Terrion Ware tore the house down, fighting right to the final bell.
In the co-main event of The Ultimate Fighter 26 Finale in Las Vegas on Friday, a pair of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series vets faced off. Sean O’Malley and Terrion Ware were looking at the biggest opportunities of their respective careers to date. Or, at the very least, the biggest spotlight. So which fighter would capitalize at the TUF 26 Finale?
O’Malley brought the flash, while Ware brought the more traditional approach early in the co-main event. Ware sought to press the action, while the lankier O’Malley looked to counter. A question mark kick connected on Ware just past two minutes in; Ware seemed stunned if only for a moment. For his part, Ware displayed excellent movement on the feet, but O’Malley’s angles still gave him fits at times. By the end of the first round, this bout was becoming a barn burner.
In the second, Ware battled back, and O’Malley paid the price for fighting with his hands down. Nose bloodied, O’Malley ate a number of big shots from Ware, which forced him to cover up. Ware added in knees, and when O’Malley launched a head kick with about ninety seconds left in the round, he slipped, and Ware was able to easily stay in control. O’Malley would get back up, but he clearly had slowed a step. He would try a jumping triangle towards the end of the round, and look for a leg after that. Neither attempt was successful.
Round three saw Sean O’Malley show he had some fight left in him, opening with a spinning back kick. They’d pick things up where they left off in round two, with O’Malley at least somewhat refreshed. The creativity of his attacks shone through, with a spinning back fist transition to a spinning back kick underlining that. A late takedown by O’Malley, followed by a head kick and another takedown, may have won him the round; he’d work for a late D’Arce, but couldn’t sink it in. Ware would show some flash of his own at the end, but finished the fight on the ground eating elbows.
Sean O’Malley def. Terrion Ware by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)