HELENA -- Helena native Sean "Sugar" O'Malley of Phoenix continued his rise up the professional mixed martial arts ladder after his 10th consecutive victory without a loss Saturday night in Las Vegas.
O'Malley scored a unanimous decision over Andre "the Asian Sensation" Soukhamthath at the UFC 222 in the bantam weight battle at T-Mobile Arena, despite fighting the third and final round literally on one leg after sustaining a foot injury.
O'Malley, 23, improved to 10-0 in MMA bouts (seven KO/submissions) and 2-0 in Ultimate Fighting Contests (UFC). Soukhamthath, 29, of Lakeworth, Florida, slipped to 12-6 MMA (11 KO/submissions), 1-3 UFC. The combined record of O'Malley's 10 pro opponents to date -- six of whom sported winning records -- is 61-35.
O'Malley dominated the first round of the 135-pound tilt on Saturday with punches and kicks.
"O'Malley's stance switching is stopping Soukhamthath from initiating any offense," according to the mmafighting.com blog. "He scores a big kick to the body. O'Malley drops Soukhamthath with a straight punch and he's in survival mode backing up ... (Soukhamthath) is wobbled by a high kick."
In Round 2, O'Malley continued to carry the fight with punches and kicks, until his opponent took him to the ground to grapple. But the 5-foot-11 Helenan fared just as well on the mat, and would also win that round. In the third, O'Malley appeared to injure his foot on a head kick, and spent the rest of the fight surviving on basically one leg.
The Montanan built up enough of a lead in the first two rounds to earn the unanimous decision on the judge's cards (officially 29-27, 29-27, 29-28) and gave the post fight interview while laying flat on his back.
He stated in the interview when asked about his injury that his foot "went numb, I can't even step on it. I think it was a question mark kick."
He was carried from the ring with his foot in a brace and headed for X-rays. But an UFC official stated X-rays "were presumably negative" and that O'Malley's foot was not broken.