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Sean O'Malley photo

Helena native Sean "Sugar" O'Malley celebrates his ninth MMA victory, and debut UFC win, without a loss recently in Las Vegas. 

Helena native Sean "Sugar" O’Malley, a professional MMA fighter out of Scottsdale, Arizona, remained undefeated for his career when he recently captured his Ultimate Fighting Contest (UFC) debut with a unanimous decision over veteran Terrion Ware in Las Vegas.

O’Malley, 23, improves to 9-0 in MMA and 1-0 in UFC, while Ware, 31, from Los Angeles, slips to 17-7, 0-2. The Helena fighter won the 3-round bout at 135.5-pounds, by scores of 29-28, 29-28, and 29-28 on the three judge’s scorecards.

“I really wanted to finish the fight (by knockout), I thought (I had) a good performance, but I really wanted to finish it,” O’Malley said to after the early-December tilt.

He has six KOs and a submission victory in his nine wins, including six stoppages in the first round.

The 5-foot-11 O’Malley said he didn’t feel any extra pressure since it was his UFC debut, just that Ware “is a really tough kid, I hit him a lot and he didn't go down. It was a good push, I showed my heart and I have nothing but respect for Terrion; he’s a good dude.”

The bantamweight bout was the co-main event of the TUF 26 Finale event at Park Theater in Las Vegas.

According to, O’Malley’s first strike was a spinning back kick, which seemed apt for his flashy, unpredictable style.

“A couple of hard body kicks scored for (O'Malley) on Ware, who was definitely at an athletic disadvantage. Ware closed the distance but didn’t get anything done there, while O’Malley was active and keeping Ware at range with his size and speed,” the web site recounted.

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Ware’s best offense was his leg kicks, which O’Malley didn’t bother to check. Ware worked his jab and tried to keep the pressure on, but the Helena fighter cut the angles and continued to land solid strikes.

It was O’Malley sticking out the jab and working his power shots off of them early in round 2. A quick head kick nearly found its target for the Treasure State combatant. When Ware moved forward, O'Malley stung him with an uppercut.

The stockier Ware, at 5-8, had his opponent's face bloodied, but the Montanan was landing some good single punches to fend off the attacks from Ware.

“O’Malley started brightly in the final round, finding a second wind and cracking Ware with punches and kicks in the first minute,” the bloodyelbow site continued. “The reach advantage and accuracy of O’Malley turned things back in his favor as Ware was getting piece up by O’Malley’s whirlwind of offense.”

Ware also demonstrated a tough chin. O’Malley took Ware down, let him back up and instantly smashed his body with a kick. Ware was spent, off target, and he was outmatched in what was an entertaining fight, the web site concluded.

Curt Synness is on Twitter @curtsynness_IR and can be reached at or


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