UFC’s Sean O’Malley would cry after BJJ sessions when he first moved to a Professional team

Sean O’Malley made headlines last weekend after his appearance in UFC 288’s headline bout between bantamweight champ Aljamain Sterling and Henry Cejudo. O’Malley’s potential future title shot against Sterling has quickly become one of the most talked-about topics in the promotion, and it’s likely to take place in late 2023.

If O’Malley wants to beat Sterling, he must go through some dangerous grappling sequences with the champion.

A little while ago, Beneil Dariush opened up about how challenging it was to train with BJJ professionals despite being a UFC title contender saying: ‘you go into a jiu-jitsu practice and you do jiu-jitsu with the really good jiu-jitsu guys and you lose all your rounds. It’s very humbling.’

Although ‘Sugar’ is a strong grappler in his own right, he spoke about his early struggles in this area during an appearance on FLAGRANT podcast.

O’Malley discussed his origins in a Montana kickboxing gym, which he referred to as “low-level,” and his move to train with current coach Tim Welch in Arizona at the age of 18. O’Malley’s grappling coach is former UFC star Augusto Tanquinho Mendes.

In the interview, O’Malley admitted that he initially struggled with wrestling and grappling, saying, “I came down to Arizona…literally for 10 days, every time I left practice I was crying…when it came to wrestling, I didn’t know how to f*cking wrestle to save my life…kickboxing I would do okay, I would do alright, but when it came to like grappling days, I had zero chance. I would leave the gym f*cking crying like goddammit.”

However, he has since come a long way with his grappling and has even competed in grappling tournaments against notable stars including Takanori Gomi, Hector Lombard, and Gilbert Melendez.

O’Malley’s dedication to improving his grappling skills is evident in his regular training and participation in grappling competitions. He recognizes that grappling is a challenging skill to learn and acknowledges that even after two years of training, one is just “scratching the surface.”