It has been a very bad year for top bantamweight contender Sean O’Malley. The 23-year-old announced earlier this month that he failed a drug test, which resulted in him pulling out of his fight against Jose Quinonez (7-2 MMA, 4-1 UFC) at the historic UFC 229 card which sold the highest number of PPV in the history of UFC.
On Wednesday, the Nevada Athletic Commission voted to give the 24-year-old fighter a reduced retroactive suspension of six months retroactive for a potential United States Anti-Doping violation.
According to that ruling, O’Malley will be eligible to compete by the first quarter of 2019. He will be eligible by March 6, 2019, to be precise; however, although he could still face a maximum suspension of two years from USADA. Sean O’Malley was also ordered to pay $472.42 in legal fees.
.08 nanograms and they pulled me off the biggest card, suspended me and fined me . 1 Nanogram is exactly 0.000000000001 kilograms. For everyone who thinks I am stupid enough to take a banned substance before the biggest fight of my career, 🖕🏽.Thanks to the fans that support me❤️
— Sean O'Malley (@SugaSeanMMA) November 15, 2018
“Circumstances in which the respondent takes responsibility for the adverse analytical finding,” an Attorney General rep clarified, grants “the commission the discretion to deviate from the standard and to reduce the suspension by 50 percent.”
He also recently underwent a hip surgery. He suffered a foot injury in his unanimous decision win over Andre Soukhamthath at UFC 222 in April and hasn’t been able to compete since. “Sugar” won all three of his UFC bouts thus far.