It is now official. A bantamweight fight between Sean O’Malley and Raulian Paiva has been added to UFC 269, which is the final pay-per-view of the year.
Brett Okamoto of ESPN reported on Thursday evening that the fight between O’Malley and Paiva was in the process of being finalized, but ‘Sugar’ quickly questioned the report while streaming live on his Twitch account. A few days later, O’Malley confirmed the fight against Paiva is indeed happening at UFC 269 in an Instagram post accompanied by what appears to be a photo of him signing his fight agreement.
UFC 269 is expected to take place in Las Vegas, however, the venue in which it will be hosted has yet to be announced at this time. It is worth noting that O’Malley wrote in his post it will be at the T-Mobile Arena, which he referred to as the SUG arena.
O’Malley rebounded from a first-round technical knockout loss to Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera at UFC 252 — the first of his professional career — with two third-round finishes over Thomas Almeida and Kris Moutinho at UFC 260 and UFC 264 respectively. The wins over Almeida and Moutinho saw O’Malley earn back-to-back performance bonuses. This will be his third fight in 2021 and looks to add Paiva to his resume.
Paiva fought his way into the promotion as a flyweight after securing a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series Brazil over three years ago. He made his promotional debut at UFC 234 against Kai Kara-France, who he dropped a split decision to. Paiva was unsuccessful in his second outing at UFC Fight Night: Shevchenko vs. Carmouche 2, where his fight against Rogerio Bontorin was stopped in the first round because of a gash on his eyebrow. Despite beginning his UFC tenure at 0-2, Paiva has since rattled off wins over Mark De La Rosa, Zhalgas Zhumagulov and Kyler Phillips.
Three title fights sit atop the lineup of UFC 269 in December. A lightweight championship fight between Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier has been linked to this event, but has not been confirmed by the UFC brass. Amanda Nunes will return to defend her bantamweight title against No. 5 ranked Julianna Peña, while Brandon Moreno and Deiveson Figueiredo fight for the third and final time with the flyweight title on the line.