Word is traveling through the grapevine that the UFC just may have found a new opponent for Ryan Jimmo at the TUF Nations Finale on April 16. Jimmo's original opponent UFC debutee and former minor-league hockey enforcer Steve Bosse was forced off the card due to injury. Now, Sportsnet's Joe Ferraro is reporting via Twitter, that the UFC may be targeting Sean O'Connell to fill the spot Bosse left.
Hearing that Sean O'Connell (15-4) will replace the injured Steve Bosse, vs Ryan Jimmo at the #TUFNations finale.— Joe Ferraro (@ShowdownJoe) March 6, 2014
The 30-year-old O'Connell has been training Jeremy Horn's Elite Performance Gym in Utah. And if his UFC signing is indeed in the works he would make his way to the octagon with a 15-4 record. His most notable career win is over Marvin Eastman, and otherwise he's fought a lot of vets, but not much top end competition. All four of his losses are by stoppage. More perceptive fans may remember O'Connell from TUF 8 where he lost to Shane Primm in the season's elimination round. Since that season of the Ultimate Fighter he's gone 9-2, with both losses by submission and five stoppages of his own.
Watching O'Connell fight, he's definitely a grappler first and foremost. He is something of a wild brawler while standing and a very hittable one at that. It's hard to see what his takedown game looks like, as the level of his competition isn't terribly elite, and there's not a lot of recent footage out there on him. What I have seen shows that he's a pretty capable grappler both off his back and on top. And while he appears to be solid at transitioning on the ground and creating opportunities, he's not exceptional at holding position. Obviously he's a fighter looking to finish with 7 KO/TKOs and 3 submissions, but that he seems to have a "live by the sword die by the sword mentality." Against a careful fighter like Jimmo, who likes to switch between grinding top and cage control and bursts of powerful offense, this could be a bad night for O'Connell.
No official word of his signing has been released yet, but I'd expect the announcement soon, as fight night approaches. To get better acquainted, here's some footage of O'Connell's most recent fight at MFC 39: