Hoping to score an Octagon return on February 13th. at UFC 258, bantamweight contender, ‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley has claimed that fellow striker, Thomas ‘Thominhas’ Almeida has rejected the opportunity to clash with him at the event.
The polarizing Montana-born finisher suffered his first professional defeat at UFC 252 in August, dropping a first-round knockout loss to fellow challenger, Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera, suffering a foot injury midway through the first frame prior to the stoppage defeat.
Speaking on his podcast, The Sugar Show — O’Malley detailed how Brazilian Muay Thai practitioner, Almeida rejected the opportunity to feature at the UFC 258 pay-per-view event against him, according to the latter, out of fear of a possible knockout defeat.
“I was supposed to be fighting (on) February 13th. against — I didn’t say it because I didn’t know,” O’Malley said. “I got offered, Thomas Almeida. He turned it down, he said my right hand was too powerful or something along those lines of COVID (-19) or something, so he turned the fight down. Good decision on his part, (it) would have been a nasty KO.“
“So we’re still looking, but that’s who I was planning on fighting, “O’Malley explained.”I never announced it because obviously it wasn’t official and it’s not going to be official. That fight’s not happening — (I’m) still looking, but I plan on fighting in February.“
According to MMA Fighting reporter, Alexander K. Lee’s report, his colleague, Guilherme Cruz confirmed with a source of his that Almeida had, in fact, refused a bout agreement to match with O’Malley at the February 13th. event.
Returning to active competition following a two-year absence from the Octagon, the Sao Paulo native suffered his third consecutive loss at UFC Fight Island 6 in October, falling to a unanimous decision defeat to Jonathan Martinez following a failed pairing with Alejandro Perez the prior week.
While declaring his interest in a potential matchup with former two-time 135-pound titleholder, Dominick Cruz — who has been booked opposite O’Malley’s friend, Casey Kenney, the Montana native still promised a show at UFC 258.
“Dominick Cruz vs. Casey Kenney just got announced,” O’Malley said. “Casey Kenney’s one of my buddies I trained with for a while at the (MMA) lab. That’s an interesting matchup. That’s another fight that I would have liked to get, was Cruz, but that didn’t happen, but that’s okay. I’m gonna fight someone and it’s gonna be sick.“