Sean O’Malley was a huge favorite to beat late replacement Kris Moutinho tonight at UFC 264, but the newcomer proved to be very tougher to finish than anyone could have imagined.
Moutinho pressing forward to start the fight. O’Malley lands a push kick and now another one. A flicking jab and then a leg kick.
Another calf kick for O’Malley and then back to the push kick. ANother jab connects. Moutinho still moving forward, but not getting much going.
O’Malley lands a heavier punch now. leg kick for Moutinho now. Jab for O’Malley. Another leg kick for Moutinho. Jab and then more punches behind it for O’Malley.
O’Malley with a kick and then more punches. Moutinho lands as he tries to get respect. O’Malley back to landing and Moutinho swings for the fences again.
O’ Mally with a sharp straight. Kick for Moutinho. Big punch gets through for O’Malley and then more clean connections have him rocked. He’s not going down though and O’Malley is styling on him and tries to work a spinning kick.
Toughness from Moutinho though and so O’Malley steadies his own pace a bit, realizing he’s not going to go away easily.
Moutinho continuing to march forward, but O’Malley is picking him apart and he’s rarely getting anything off in return.
O’Malley lands a nice punch off the back foot, but Moutinho lets his hands go close to the cage.
Hard straight punches from O’Malley snapping his opponent’s head back. Moutinho remarkably tough, but in the final seconds O’Malley cracks him with a powerfiul straight right and he goes down. O’Mally follows him to the mat and tries for a choke, but the round ends. Moutinho unsteady as he goes to his corner.
Moutinho might still be hurt, but he’s talking to O’Malley and pressing forward in the opening minute of the second round.
O’Malley just picking him apart though, landing repeated jabs. A hard punch as he steps back, but Moutinho takes it.
O’Malley changes things up by landing a solid punch to the body. Moutinho throws in return but O’Malley avoids it.
Power left hands land for O’Malley. Moutinho might be too tough for his own good – he’s eaten a ton of punches.
Moutinho trying to up his activity but he’s struggling to find a home for most of his punches when he does so.
Nice one-two for O’Malley. Body kick now. MOutinho tries to clinch, but O’Malley’s movement is too slick.
Crisp counter for O’Malley and then another right hand short afterwards. Now an overhand. O’Malley digs to the body.
Left hand for Moutinho and O’Malley’s mouthpiece comes out which forces a quick stoppage. Moutinho right back on him on the reset. O’Malley with a front kick to the body.
Moutinho works his way into the clinch against the cage. He lands a knee. O’Malley gets away and lands a final right hand.
Oblique kick from O’Malley to start the third. Now a punch to the head. Push kick. Grazing left hand from Moutinho.
Hard body punch from O’Malley and then avoids punches in return. Multiple jabs from O’Malley. Another kick to the body. Moutinho is just relentless with his forward pressure and he corners O’Malley for a moment and lets off a few strikes.
Leg kicks for Moutinho. Jab for O’Malley. Backing up he lands a good right hand. Jab for O’Malley, pauses for a moment and then blasts a head kick upstairs, but Moutinho blocks it.
leg kick for Moutinho. Moutinho lands a punch, but then gets caught by a big left hook counter.
Jab and push kick for O’Malley. Light leg kicks from Moutinho. O’Malley with a kick upstairs and then tees off with big punches, but Moutinho still stands.
An overhand right for O’Malley and then another punch behind it. Moutinho connects with a punch of his own. O’Malley calm and collected though and still slick on his feet, while his punches continue to land with ease.
A brief flurry of power punches from O’Malley and out-of-the-blue ref Herb Dean moves in and waves off the fight, handing O’Malley the TKO victory at 4.33mins of the final round.
Very controversial stoppage there. Moutinho ate a remarkable amount of punches over the course of the fight, but he wasn’t rocked at the time of the stoppage and it seems somewhat cruel not to let him try to fight his way to the final bell, which was only 27 seconds away.
Either way, there was absolutely no doubt about who was going to emerge victorious, and O’Malley did showcase the fact that pressure alone is not enough to stop him from making a big impact with his striking.