Bantamweight super prospect “Suga” Sean O’Malley is in talks to face Raulian Paiva on the undercard of UFC 269 on December 11.
One of the UFC’s top young prospects is expected to make his third appearcance of 2021 as Sean O’Malley is targeted to take on Raulian Paiva at UFC 269 on December 11. ESPN was first to report the news.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) September 30, 2021
Initially, O’Mally reacted with surprise to news of the fight booking while appearing on game streaming platform Twitch. However, the fighter has now confirmed the match-up on social media.
Sean O’Malley is live on Twitch right now and denying that he is fighting Raulian Paiva.
“I’m just seeing this right now. I have no idea what anyone is talking about.”
— Alex Behunin (@AlexBehunin) September 30, 2021
Sean O’Malley (14-1) recently made waves for comments that he would prefer to avoid the bigger names in the promotion until he renegotiates with the UFC for more money. This was in response to the criticism that the popular O’Malley was not facing more stern competition despite being heralded as a future superstar. In terms of the opposition he has fought, O’Malley has excelled. “Suga” has been brilliant in victories against Thomas Almeida and Krist Moutinho in performances where he seemingly kept the pressure his opponents so that he may look for a highlight reel finish instead.
Raulian Paiva (21-3) enters the bout with more experience than O’Malley. The 25 year old Contender Series veteran had only lost once prior to joining the UFC where he dropped his first two fights as a flyweight. He turned things around in 2020, notching wins over Mark De La Rosa, Zhalgas Zhumagulov, and Kyler Phillips. The bout against Phillips was also Paiva’s return to bantamweight where he enjoyed most of his success.
Currently, no official location for the event has been announced although Las Vegas is expected to be the target. The card is scheduled to feature a championship triple-header with the lightweight, flyweight, and women’s bantamweight titles on the line.