Sean O’Malley, a rising bantamweight, finished Kris Moutinho in the third round after displaying a striking clinic. Moutinho’s face appeared so bloody and absorbed so much damage that referee Herb Dean mercifully stopped the fight. O’Malley, a fan favorite, will most likely next fight an opponent ranked in the top 15 in the division.
Moutinho quickly got in O’Malley’s face as the bout began, but the Arizonan used his pinpoint accurate strikes to keep the newcomer at bay. Moutinho wasn’t in the Octagon to be a foil for O’Malley, though, and he continued to aggressively chase his foe until O’Malley really started to tag him midway through the round. After fighting off the initial barrage, Moutinho went back to work, tagging O’Malley with some solid punches and kicks. A right hand just before the horn dropped Moutinho, but he made it to the end of the round.
O’Malley as he took several stiff punches and kicks, and as the round progressed, it appeared the favorite was getting frustrated by his inability to put the New Englander away.
O’Malley continued to dominate the action in the third, but the story of the fight was the toughness of Moutinho, who was bloody and bruised, but unbowed. Yet as the bout entered its closing stages, the amount of shots Moutinho took throughout the fight prompted referee Herb Dean to stop the fight at 4:33 of the final round, an unpopular decision with the fans in attendance.