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Sean O’Malley and Thomas Almeida have arrived at something of a crossroads inside the Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight division.
The blue-chip talents will collide in a pivotal UFC 260 showcase on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, where neither of them can afford a misstep. O’Malley has won four of his first five bouts inside the Octagon. However, he finds himself on the rebound for the first time following his technical knockout loss to Marlon Vera in August. Almeida, meanwhile, enters the cage on a three-fight losing streak. He last appeared at UFC Fight Night 180, where he dropped a unanimous decision to Jonathan Martinez on Oct. 17.
As O’Malley and Almeida make final preparations for their three-round battle, a look at some of the numbers that have accompanied them to this point:
26: Years of age for O’Malley, who was born in Helena, Montana, on Oct. 24, 1994. “Pulp Fiction,” “The Specialist,” “Love Affair,” “The Puppet Masters” and “The River Wild” were the Top 5 movies at the domestic box office at the time.
8: O’Malley wins by knockout, accounting for 67% of his career total (12). His list of victims includes Alfred Khashakyan, Jose Alberto Quinonez and Eddie Wineland. O’Malley owns three other victories by decision and one more by submission.
93: Seconds needed for O’Malley to put away Josh Reyes with punches in his March 6, 2015 professional debut under the Intense Championship Fighting banner. It remains the fastest finish of his 13-fight career.
110: Significant strikes by which O’Malley has outlanded his first five opponents in the UFC. He has connected on 245 such strikes while absorbing only 135 in return.
2: Weight classes in which O’Malley has competed as a mixed martial artist. He has gone 11-1 as a bantamweight and 1-0 as a flyweight.
29: Years of age for Almeida, who was born on July 31, 1991 in Sao Paulo, Brazil—6,000-plus miles from Ultimate Fighting Championship headquarters in Las Vegas.
4: Almeida wins by submission, accounting for 18% of his career total (22). His methods of choice: two armbars, one rear-naked choke and one guillotine choke. Almeida owns 17 other victories by knockout and one more by decision.
17: First-round finishes on the Almeida resume, including two of the sub-minute variety. He submitted Jorge Fernando with an armbar 47 seconds into their encounter at Gold Fight Selection 2 on Feb. 25, 2012 and dismissed Willidy Viana with punches 47 seconds into their confrontation at Alfenas Balada Fight 1 on Aug. 9, 2013.
.805: Cumulative winning percentage between the four men—Martinez, Rob Font, Jimmie Rivera and Cody Garbrandt—who have defeated Almeida. They hold a combined record of 66-16.
120: Significant strikes landed by Almeida in his UFC debut, as he laid claim to a unanimous decision over “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 18 alum Tim Gorman at UFC Fight Night 56 in 2014. He has not connected on more than 72 in any other fight.