Chael Sonnen explains why he’s going with Sean O’Malley for Male Fighter of the Year

By Harry Kettle - July 11, 2024

MMA analyst Chael Sonnen has explained why UFC bantamweight champion Sean O’Malley is his frontrunner for Male Fighter of the Year.

Sean O'Malley, UFC 299

As we know, Sean O’Malley is one of the most popular fighters in mixed martial arts. Between his personality outside of the cage and his ability inside of it, he’s been able to achieve some great things. So far this year, he’s managed to successfully retain the belt in a one-sided battering against rival Marlon Vera.

In his next outing, he’s expected to defend against Merab Dvalishvili. Of course, that will serve as a tough obstacle for him to overcome, but many believe he can get the job done.

RELATED: Sean O’Malley anxious for fight announcement as UFC 306 draws closer: “I’m still hoping for the Sphere”

In a recent episode of Good Guy / Bad Guy, Daniel Cormier and Chael Sonnen spoke about who their pick would be for Male Fighter of the Year in their mid-year awards. While Cormier picked Alex Pereira, Chael went for a different move.

Sonnen picks O’Malley

“When you look at the Male Fighter of the Year, I’m going with Sean O’Malley,” Sonnen said. “When ‘Sugar’ Sean fought ‘Chito’ Vera, I did not know Sean was that good. I believed that Sean was the best guy in the world. I thought it was competitive; there’s guys that could beat him but he could beat them as well. But when he fought ‘Chito’ Vera and he dominated that…

“To watch the growth that Sean had (from the first Vera fight), not to mention the pressure he had going from the Apex to top of the bill, a $14.1 million gate, and you’ve got to follow the show Dustin Poirier put on,” Sonnen continued. “There was so much pressure on this young man, who is a showman. … Can you back up what you say? Not only did he do it, he did it for 25 minutes. 15 minutes in he could’ve put the brakes on…wasn’t good enough for him. He tried to finish that fight. … I thought it was the total package.”

Quotes via MMA News

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Chael Sonnen Sean O'Malley UFC