Sean O’Malley, one of the UFC’s top up-and-coming stars, will return to the Octagon in March. And the promotion has another big main event calendared for February.
CEO Dana White revealed Monday on social media that O’Malley will defend his bantamweight title versus Marlon “Chito” Vera in the main event of the UFC’s March pay-per-view card. No specific date or location was revealed.
In addition, Alexander Volkanovski will defend his UFC featherweight title versus Ilia Topuria on the February pay-per-view card, which also does not have a location or date announced.
ESPN has Volkanovski ranked No. 3 on its MMA pound-for-pound list and O’Malley at No. 7.
O’Malley (17-1, 1 NC) earned the belt by finishing Aljamain Sterling via TKO at UFC 292 in August. The Montana-born Arizona resident is unbeaten in six consecutive fights. O’Malley, 29, suffered his only career loss to Vera in 2020.
Vera (21-8-1) is coming off a unanimous decision over Pedro Munhoz at UFC 292. The Ecuadorian-born fighter who lives and trains in California has won five of his past six fights. Vera, 30, has the most finishes (10) in UFC bantamweight history.
Volkanovski (26-3), a 35-year-old Australian, fought for the lightweight title versus Islam Makhachev last month at UFC 294, losing via first-round knockout. He has five successful title defenses at featherweight. Topuria (14-0), a 26-year-old Spain resident of Georgian descent, is 6-0 in the UFC with five finishes.