Many fans likely remember Sean O'Connell from his hilarious weigh-in antics in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. However, those who have followed his career more closely know he has a well-established reputation as a true scrapper. Before he entered the 2018 Professional Fighters League light heavyweight tournament, O’Connell carried an 18-10 record, which included a seven-fight stint in the UFC.
“The Real OC” has since introduced himself to a much wider audience. O’Connell capture the PFL light heavyweight title and joined the promotion’s list of new millionaires by stopping top-seeded Vinny Magalhaes in the 205-pound final. The fight appears to have been his last, as he announced his retirement in the immediate aftermath. Here is a by-the-numbers look at his career:
2: Sports played in high school. O’Connell competed in wrestling and football for Jordan High School in Sandy, Utah. He was a star football player who became part of the revered “Pain Train,” which was reserved for the toughest members of the offensive line. However, O’Connell moved to two schools and joined their teams as a walk-on. Later, he graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in psychology.
0: Formal martial arts training when he entered his first professional fight. Other than cardio kickboxing -- which he undertook to stay in shape -- O’Connell had no previous martial arts experience. Of course, the pride of Utah brought considerable athletic ability to the table, which played a significant role in his success, especially early in his career.
7: Appearances in the Ultimate Combat Experience organization, where he compiled a 6-1 record. Only one of those wins came by decision.
1: Opportunity to get inside “The Ultimate Fighter” house. After going 6-2 to start his professional career, O’Connell was invited by the UFC to take part in Season 8 of the reality series. However, he dropped his first fight and thus failed to qualify for the final cast. All was not lost for O’Connell, who got the call from the UFC at a later date anyway.
7: Starts in the UFC. O’Connell did not make the strongest first impression, as he lost his first two matches inside the Octagon. He bounced back by knocking out Matt Van Buren and Anthony Perosh before suffering three straight defeats and getting released.
86: Combined significant strikes landed in his two UFC wins. O’Connell was being outstruck by Van Buren at UFC Fight Night 59 until his fists found their way to his opponent’s face. Against Perosh at UFC Fight Night 65, O’Connell was even more impressive, as he stopped the Australian 56 seconds into the bout.
3: “Fight of the Night” awards won in the UFC. O’Connell engaged in some exciting fights inside the Octagon, most notably against Van Buren, Gian Villante and Steve Bosse.
35: Years of age. O’Connell was born on Sept. 2, 1983 in Cottage Grove, Minnesota.