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Helena's Sean O'Malley nearing top-10 fight against Pedro Munhoz in July

Sean O'Malley
Posted at 3:31 PM, May 04, 2022

HELENA — Riding a three-fight win streak, Helena's Sean O'Malley (15-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) will likely be making another jump in the UFC ranks as he's slated to face off against Pedro Munhoz (19-7 MMA, 9-7 UFC) come this summer, per reports.

The news was first reported by ESPN's Brett Okamoto on Tuesday, with USA Today's MMA Junkie confirming the news, saying, "with multiple people close to the situation that verbal agreements for the bout are in place. Those people requested anonymity because the UFC has yet to make an official announcement," according to USA Today's article.

O'Malley's last three fights came to a close with knockout results against Thomas Almeida, Kris Moutinho, and Raulian Paiva, the latter of which came in December.

Though the fight has not officially been confirmed, it's slated to take place at UFC 276 on July 2 in Las Vegas and would be a bantamweight (135 pounds) fight. The fight will be O'Malley's first of 2022 after he fought three times in 2021.

If completed, the fight would be O'Malley's first test against a ranked opponent in the UFC. O'Malley, 27, is currently ranked No. 13 in the UFC's bantamweight divisional rankings while Munhoz is ranked No. 10.

Munhoz, 35, is an octagon veteran and has squared off against some of the best the sport has seen. He is 2-4 in his last six fights but all of those losses have been against current or former UFC champions. During that stretch, Munhoz has a win over former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt and his losses include current bantamweight champ Aljamain Sterling, and former champs in Frankie Edgar, Jose Aldo and Dominick Cruz.

UFC 276 is expected to be another big card for the promotion. Along with O'Malley and Munhoz, a leaked screenshot that was making the rounds on social media shows the UFC was targeting a main event fight between middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and Jared Cannonier as well as Nate Diaz's possible final fight in the promotion with up-and-coming star Khamzat Chimaev.