Sean O’Malley could also be going through a step up in competitors, however he doesn’t see the end result being any totally different from his current performances.

O’Malley (12-Zero MMA, 4-Zero UFC) faces Marlon Vera at UFC 252 on Aug. 15, which is predicted to happen on the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

Since coming back from a two-year layoff in March, the undefeated O’Malley has shined, scoring two first-round knockouts over Jose Quinonez and Eddie Wineland within the span of three months.

He has made fast work of his final two opponents, making it look straightforward, however O’Malley expects Vera to be slightly extra sturdy than his current opposition.

“He’s an honest striker, black belt in jiu-jitsu – he’s positively the hardest opponent thus far, and that’s what I needed,” O’Malley advised MMA Junkie.

“I feel this battle towards ‘Chito’ will actually sort of get to indicate – you realize, it’s onerous to indicate your expertise while you’re knocking dudes out in two minutes. It’s like, some folks may see it as that was a fortunate punch, or that was no matter, however I feel ‘Chito’ may be capable to take up some further punishment. So I’ll be capable to present extra of my expertise and be extra of a menace, and folks will understand that. So I feel some guys take a look at my expertise they usually’re like, ‘OK, yeah, he’s for actual.’ Some don’t. So I feel this subsequent battle will get to indicate lots.”

Winner of 5 straight earlier than a choice loss to Tune Yadong in Might, Vera (15-6-1 MMA, 9-5 UFC) scored an array of finishes throughout his profitable streak. However many analysts, together with O’Malley, thought he beat Yadong.

Regardless of Vera’s spectacular resume, O’Malley thinks he has by no means confronted anybody like him and nonetheless expects to shine.

“It’s onerous to not see me get a first-round knockout,” O’Malley mentioned. “That’s just about how my profession has been. At the same time as an newbie, I used to be getting loads of first-round knockouts. He’s by no means sparred somebody like me. He’s by no means fought somebody like me. And lots of people say that, however lots of people are primary. He’s fairly primary. He’s received primary hanging and good jiu-jitsu. I’ve received wonderful hanging, and I really feel I’ve received actually good jiu-jitsu.

“So I feel he’s going to attempt to put me up towards the fence, do his little journeys that he likes, and get on high and search for a submission. I don’t assume he’s going to have the ability to put me up towards the fence, and I feel he’s going to soak up loads of photographs attempting to place me up towards the fence, attempting to take me down, and I’ll sneak that one in there. It’s the one you don’t see that will get you knocked out. Jose, that uppercut – that’s what did it on him. Eddie was that proper hand. So I’ve loads of secret weapons that you just’re not going to see that’ll put your lights out.”

If the knockout doesn’t come shortly, O’Malley received’t be stunned. Whether or not in Spherical 1 or towards the top of the battle, he envisions one other highlight-reel end.

“In all probability first-round knockout, however like I mentioned, Chito’s robust, so I’m planning on being in there for 15 minutes,” O’Malley mentioned. “I may see a second-round knockout or a third-round knockout. I do see myself placing his lights out. (It’s) sort of his alternative how briskly he needs to get knocked out and the way a lot he pushes the battle.”