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The long-sought moment in the sun has arrived for Sean O'Malley. Whether or not he can capitalize remains to be seen.
O’Malley will put his perfect 12-0 record on the line against “The Ultimate Fighter Latin America” semifinalist Marlon Vera in the UFC 252 co-main event on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, where the victor figures to take a significant step forward in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s bantamweight division.
As O’Malley and Vera approach their pivotal three-round battle, a look at some of the numbers that have accompanied them to this point:
25: Years of age for O’Malley, who was born in Helena, Montana, on Oct. 24, 1994.
1: Submission victory on the O’Malley resume. The MMA Lab export put away Omar Avelar with a rear-naked choke under the Intense Championship Fighting banner in 2015. O’Malley cinched the choke 2:55 into Round 1.
8: First-round finishes for O’Malley, accounting for 67 percent of his career win total. The John Crouch protégé authored his fastest stoppage in his professional debut, as he took care of Josh Reyes with punches 93 seconds into the first round of their encounter at ICF 17 on March 6, 2015.
118: Significant strikes by which O’Malley has outperformed his first four opponents—Terrion Ware, Andre Soukhamthath, Jose Alberto Quinonez and Eddie Wineland—inside the Octagon.
3: Post-fight bonuses pocketed by O’Malley since he joined the UFC roster in December 2017. He has been awarded “Fight of the Night” once and “Performance of the Night” twice, resulting in $150,000 of additional income.
27: Years of age for Vera, who was born on Dec. 2, 1992 in Chone, Ecuador.
8: Vera wins by submission, accounting for more than half of his career total. His methods of choice: three rear-naked chokes, two triangle chokes, one heel hook, one triangle armbar and one armbar.
7: Vera finishes as a UFC bantamweight, tying the Team Oyama rep with Urijah Faber for second on the promotion’s all-time list. Only T.J. Dillashaw (eight) has more.
6: Losses on the Vera ledger, all by decision. The Colin Oyama disciple owns a 2-6-1 record in fights that reach the judges.
9: Countries in which Vera has competed as a professional mixed martial artist. He has gone 6-1 in the United States, 2-1-1 in Peru, 2-0 in Ecuador, 1-1 in England, 1-1 in Mexico, 0-2 in Brazil, 1-0 in Panama, 1-0 in Australia and 1-0 in Argentina.