“Didn’t message him back,” Sean O’Malley reveals Marlon Vera’s surprising message ahead of their rematch

Sean O'Malley jokingly reveals the surprising message from Marlon Vera, who admits that "Suga" is the better fighter.

“Didn’t message him back,” Sean O’Malley reveals Marlon Vera’s surprising message ahead of their rematch

Sean O'Malley and Chito Vera (Source: Twitter)

Long rumored, the rematch between Sean O’Malley, 29, and Marlon Vera, 30, was finally made official on Monday. CEO Dana White announced the fight for UFC 299. This would be the first title defense for bantamweight champion O’Malley. In a recent interview, O’Malley expressed his interest in the matchup. He also divulged the fact that the opponent had chosen to contact him before the bout.


Speaking with Ariel Helwani of The MMA Hour, O’Malley revealed a jested version of a message that Vera had sent. He said:

He actually texted me, I swear… Hey said, 'Hey bro, thanks for choosing me for your next fight. On our last fight I got so lucky, it's crazy, you were kicking my a** lol.' I thought that was pretty cool, he just acknowledged it… [It was] a DM, on IG. I didn't message him back

O’Malley and Vera met for the first time in August 2020 at UFC 252. Vera won via first-round knockout. They’ve had an unusual relationship and callbacks since then, in part due to O’Malley’s winking claim that he didn’t lose.

Vera memorably landed a high calf kick early in the fight that damaged a nerve in O’Malley’s leg. O’Malley said on Monday that the strange nature of the finish is why he never took the result personally – and why he’s confident “Chito” can’t repeat the feat a second time.


O’Malley expressed how happy he was to finally get the rematch. The bout is scheduled for somewhere around March. He currently stands at 17-1-0 (with 1 NC). Vera provided the champion with his only career skid, as of now. Hence, the fighter has accordingly been very expectant of the fight. Vera ranks lower down the division, which is why the top peers and even some fans were critical of the choice.

Sean O’Malley promises to be the biggest name in the UFC by the end of 2024

Back in 2017, Sean O’Malley made his debut on Dana White’s Contender Series. His first-round knockout of Alfred Khashakyan is one that still makes the highlight reels. Now O’Malley is the bantamweight champion. In UFC 292 he turned in his best performance yet with a second-round TKO of Aljamain Sterling. Now the champion aspires to be the greatest name within the combat sports promotion, by the end of 2024.

Sean O'Malley with his historic punch against Aljamain Sterling
Sean O’Malley with his historic punch against Aljamain Sterling (Source: Twitter)

His UFC debut was a unanimous decision victory over Terrion Ware on December 1, 2017. Throughout his career, “Suga” has earned a total of seven post-fight bonuses, three fight-of-the-night, and four performance-of-the-night. O’Malley ties with Pedro Munzho for second most post-fight bonuses in UFC history. He is set to face Marlon Vera at UFC 299, for a rematch.

Taking to X (formerly Twitter), early this November, the champion thus revealed his aspirations. He mentioned trying to become the greatest name in the sport, by the end of next year.


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