The Sugar Show
The Life of Sean O'Malley
I’m a 23-year-old professional MMA fighter signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, training at the one of the top Mixed Martial Arts training facilities in the US, the MMA LAB. Growing up I was one of the smallest athletes which made things difficult. I always needed to prove myself because of my size. Instead of staying with high school sports and fighting the battle of having to prove myself I decided to go to the local boxing club.
A close family friend Ray Moore was a past Golden Gloves boxer. My father and I contacted him and he was ready to give me a chance. Ray had a make shift training area in the basement of his house. A speed bag, a heavy bag, a treadmill, and a few jump ropes. After our first training session, we knew this was my calling.
My first kickboxing match was in Missoula, Montana. It was also the day my classmates were graduating from High School. I opted to fight instead of waiting in line to get my diploma. I was 17 years old. I needed to fight and show everyone my talent.
Boxing and kickboxing were fun but nothing like entering MMA fights. I found Johnny Aho who had a group of young kids who also had the same dream. This group had very little in way of equipment. A few mats, old MMA gloves, jump ropes, anything they could gather. Coach Johnny recognized something in me immediately. He nicknamed me Sugar and the name stuck. It wasn’t long before Coach got me a few fights. I started knocking adults out at every fight. I decided pink was the color and soon the crowds were wearing pink, men and women, supporting this skinny, curly head kid named Sugar.
After one of my fights, I met Tim Welch, who made me an offer to stay with him for a few weeks and train with him at the LAB. Without hesitation, I took Tim up on the offer and within a week I landed in Glendale. I was getting beat up, tossed around, tapping out and going home physically beat up. Doubting myself at times if this was really what I wanted. I put those doubts aside and I knew deep down inside I was going to make it into the UFC. I flew back home, made a plan, saved money, and headed back to Glendale.
A very, very long 19 hour non-stop drive to Arizona and I was ready. The only thing I had was my focus on being someone who I knew I could be: A top UFC fighter.
In 2017 my dream of being a fighter in the Ultimate Fighting Championship came true. I earned a contract with the UFC by defeating Alfred Khashakyan by knockout on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. I was featured on a large number of sports, news, and entertainment outlets like TMZ, Complex, and BJPenn.com for the extra special celebration I had after my fight with the Dog Father himself: Snoop Dogg.
I am here now and carry an 8-0 professional record with some “Highlight” knockouts. I’m an undefeated UFC Bantamweight fighter, The MMA LAB is where I train full time with some of the best MMA fighters and coaching staff in the world. They all have become my family.