LAS VEGAS – Pedro Munhoz is buying into Sean O’Malley’s hype, but still thinks his momentum will be halted on Saturday.
The long-time UFC bantamweight contender is not skeptical of O’Malley’s (15-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) skillset and promise in the UFC, despite many others questioning whether O’Malley belongs among the best or not. Munhoz (19-7 MMA, 9-7 UFC) will be welcoming O’Malley into the upper echelon of the division at Saturday’s UFC 276.
And Munhoz is making sure to give “Suga” his proper due.
“I believe he’s legit,” Munhoz told reporters at the UFC 276 media day. “People asked me the same question before, and my answer remains the same. I think he’s legit. I think he won a lot of the fights.
“He’s tall and long. He fights both stances and has a lot of skills. I will definitely be a great test for him, (but) I believe I can stop him in three rounds for sure.”
The Brazilian looks to bounce back from his worst career stretch by getting back on the winning track with a victory on the UFC 276 main card. Munhoz is 1-4 in his past five bouts, but the four losses were against three former champions and the current champion, Aljamain Sterling. Munhoz also won three $50,000 Fight of the Night bonuses during that time, which speaks to the competitiveness of those bouts.
Munhoz hopes to get a fifth bonus and plans to bring the fight to O’Malley.
“I hope so, and that’s what I’m here for,” Munhoz said. “It’s wartime. I’m definitely going to push his pace and see what he’s capable to do.”