The search for a new opponent for Sean O’Malley is officially over. He will still compete at UFC 264 next Saturday and now welcomes a promotional newcomer in Kris Moutinho.
O’Malley was initially scheduled to meet Louis Smolka on the main card of the pay-per-view event, but it was reported by Ariel Helwani that Smolka was forced to withdraw from the fight due to an undisclosed injury. Additional reporting from Marc Raimondi of ESPN revealed that Smolka had been dealing with a staph infection.
Upon hearing the news that O’Malley was in need of a new opponent, a number of bantamweight contenders such as Merab Dvalishvili and Ricky Simon took to social media to call for the short-notice fight. O’Malley seemed primarily interested in Simon, who nearly got the fight, but it did not materialize after a misunderstanding over what weight class it should be contested at. O’Malley moved on and later announced on his Twitch stream that Moutinho was his new opponent.
O’Malley returned to the win column recently with a ‘Performance of the Night’ awarded knockout of Thomas Almeida at UFC 260 in March. That performance came just months after he suffered the first professional loss of his career against Marlon Vera at UFC 252 last year.
Moutinho trains out of Regiment Training Center and holds an overall professional record of 9-4, with four of those nine wins coming by stoppage. He has competed for well-known regional promotions such as Classic Entertainment & Sports MMA (CES MMA) and Cage Fury Fighting Championships (CFFC). He last competed at CFFC 96, where he submitted Andrew Salas with an arm-triangle choke in the third round.