Sean O’Malley survived a late scare when he appeared to break his foot to emerge with unanimous decision victory over Andre Soukhamthath tonight at UFC 222.
Both fighters circling each other, but O’Malley is starting to take the center of the Octagon. Leg kick from O’Malley and Soukhamthath’s leg buckled momentarily.
Front kick to the body from O’Malley. low leg kick from him. Right hand for Soukhamthath lands nicely. Another front kick to the body from O’Malley.
Body kick again. leg kick from Soukhamthath. A few punches from O’Malley just short of the target. Another strong leg kick knocks Soukhamthath off-balance again.
Body kick for O’Malley. Leg kick for Soukhamthath. Front kick to the body for O’Malley. Jab for O’Malley. Then he charges forward with a spinning backfist and then head kick.
O’Malley looking very confident here as he starts to show off some of his flashy techniques. leg kick for O’Malley. Now a body kick.
He suddenly clocks Soukhamthath with a well timed right hand. Now a spinning attack. He tries for a head kick that mises. Body punch from O’Malley. now a couple more punches and a head kick lands partially and almost puts him down.
Soukhamthath makes it to the end of the round, but he wobbles unsteadily as he tries to go back to his corner.
Soukhamthath turns up the heat early and fires off big punches. Now a leg kick. O’Malley stays calm though. He lands a straight left. Now a head kick attempt. Front kick to the body that’s almost caught. Now a body punch.
Right hand for O’Malley. Low kick for Soukhamthath. Punch connects for O’Malley. However, Soukhamthath now changes things up by trying for a takedown and lands it.
O’Malley quickly looking for a triangle choke. It’s not fully locked up so far, but Soukhamthath doesn’t seem to be concerned about it. O’Malley looks to tighten it up, but then switches to an armbar, but Soukhamthath fights it off.
Soukhamthath manages to secure top position more comfortably now. However, in the final minute O’Malley tries for a guillotine choke and rolls on top with it.
Soukhamthath out of that, but O’Malley stands over him and lands a kick that’s blocked on his arms. Soukhamthath seems surprised by that strike, but it was legal.
O’Malley goes back down and gets half guard then works for a guillotine choke, but there’s not enough time left in the round to finish it.
Soukhamthath pressing forward with urgency, but O’Malley looks to keep his distance. Soukhamthath clinches up against the cage. He lands a few knees to the thigh.
O’Malley gets free and then lands a front kick to the body. Straight left. Body punch for Soukhamthath. Another straight left. Front kick to the body. He attempts a head kick that’s blocked.
O’Malley seems to hurt his leg with a kick and is now limping. Soukhamthath Steps in on the attack and then takes O’Malley down.
Soukhamthath gets to side control. He’s looking for the crucifix position and lands a single elbow there before O’Malley gets out of the position.
O’Malley manages to stand, but is leg is still clearly badly hurt and he’s balancing on one leg. Soukhamthath chops his leg and takes him down. Strange decision from him giving that O’Malley can’t really do anything on one leg.
Nice strike from O’Malley and reverses Soukhamthath for a moment, but he ends up on top again. However, there’s not a lot of time left in the round and O’Malley is able to keep him close and survive until the final bell, at which time his poker face dissolves and he starts grimacing in genuine agony from what appears to be a broken foot.
Despite that nightmare last round for O’Malley, he still had done enough in the opening two rounds to ensure that he comes away with a unanimous decision victory (29-27 x2, 29-28), though he remains spreadeagled on the mat receiving treatment to his foot as the decision is read out and then conducts his post-fight interview from there too.