“Sugar” Sean is back.
Rising UFC bantamweight prospect Sean O’Malley is set to meet Marlon Vera at UFC 239 on July 6 in Las Vegas, ESPN reported Thursday.
O’Malley has been out of action since a March 2018 win over Andre Soukhamthath. He was booked to fight last October at UFC 229, but was removed from the card after a USADA violation he announced himself. Earlier this week, the UFC’s anti-doping partner announced O’Malley had failed two drug tests for the prohibited substance ostarine. Trace amounts consistent with supplement contamination were found, resulting in a reduced, six-month suspension retroactive to last year.
O’Malley, undefeated as a professional at 10-0 and 2-0 in the UFC, is one of the most promising up-and-coming fighters at 135 pounds. The 24-year-old made waves on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series in 2017, scoring a first-round knockout.
Vera has won three in a row, all by finish. He is coming off a quick TKO of Frankie Saenz last month at UFC Nashville. “Chito” also holds notable wins over veteran Brad Pickett and Brian Kelleher. The Ecuador native, who trains in California at Team Oyama, is 6-2 in his last eight.
UFC 239, part of International Fight Week, is headlined by a light heavyweight title bout between champion Jon Jones and Thiago Santos. In the co-main event, women’s featherweight and bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes defends her 135-pound title against former titleholder Holly Holm.