Kris Moutinho (9-4) has been on a solid run over his last few fights, finishing two high-caliber opponents in Ashiek Ajim (3-1) and Andrew Salas (6-5) in highly entertaining battles. It seem as though the Regiment Training Center's hard work has paid off, as he got the call today to take on one of the UFC bantamweight's biggest stars in "Sugar" Sean O'Malley (13-1).
Since breaking into the UFC via an impressive win on The Contender Series, O'Malley is 5-1 in the world's biggest promotion, and his scheduled bout with Louis Smolka recently fell threw due to Smolka being forced to pull out due to injury. O'Malley's last 5 fights have all been on UFC PPV cards, which are typically slots reserved for high-profile fighters that are entertaining and bring a lot of viewers with them. This tells you exactly what the UFC thinks of "Sugar" Sean. They are trying to build him into one of their next big stars.
With that being said, this is a HUGE opportunity for Moutinho....obviously. It's a lofty task, as Moutinho has fought no one near the striking skill level of Sean O'Malley, but if he can take out the eccentric O'Malley, and do it in impressive fashion, Moutinho himself will be on the path to stardom in the UFC.
Moutinho is definitely on a roll right now, but is taking on one of the UFC's most skilled strikers in the 135 pound division too much too soon for Moutinho? That question has to run through your brain when you analyze this matchup. I understand that you don't say "no" to the UFC when they call, but with Moutinho's current momentum, it seems to make sense that if he rattles of another win or two on the regional scene, then he'd be getting the call to compete on the Contender Series, and he can pave his own path, and not necessarily be thrown to the wolves on less than two weeks notice. Maybe the UFC threw in a 3 fight deal for Moutinho to step in against "Sugar", and if that's the case, then it's a slightly different story. He'll undoubetdly be granted a 2nd fight with the organization because of this short notice fight, and you'd presume that he'd be able to "hand pick" his next opponent, but god damn!!! "Sugar" Sean O'Malley!!! Really? Sean O'Malley is more than just a step up in competition from Ashiek Ajim and Andrew Salas. He is a 50 floor elevator ride up in competition!