Streaking bantamweight Raulian Paiva believes Sean O’Malley crumbles under pressure and thinks the highly touted bantamweight ‘wimped out’ against Marlon Vera at UFC 252.
“‘Thominhas’ [Almeida] was basically in the end of his UFC career, and [Kris Moutinho], who took the fight on short notice, was way lighter than him. [Moutinho] could take a beating, but was way inferior,” Paiva told MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz in a recent interview.
“And he lost when he tough a top fighter. Marlon Vera is very experienced, has many fights in the UFC, he put pressure over him and that’s it. He wimped out, got desperate and that happened, he got TKO’d. … There are fighters that only know how to hit but drop in performance when they are under pressure, and that’s what I see in O’Malley.”
O’Malley lost to Vera via first-round TKO but rebounded with stoppage victories over Thomas Almeida and Kris Moutinho.
‘Suga’ is considered by some to be the future of the UFC bantamweight division but No. 15-ranked Paiva plans to derail the hype train on Dec. 11.
The Brazilian is comfortable trading with O’Malley on the feet but will look for the submission on fight night.
“I can submit him if he gets desperate, but my hand can land because he keeps his hands low,” Paiva said. “But I believe it’s going to be via submission.”
UFC 269, which is expected to feature Paiva vs. O’Malley on the main card, is scheduled to take place on Dec. 11 at a TBA location.