The date and location has been officially set for Sean O'Malley's next fight.
The Helena native, mixed martial artist and current UFC bantamweight champion will make his first title defense on March 9 in Miami, Florida at the Kaseya Center at UFC 299.
O'Malley, 29 years old, is slated to put his title on the line against Marlon "Chito" Vera in a rematch. The fight will be UFC 299's main event.
The UFC officially announced the date and location for the event during a press conference on Friday ahead of Saturday's UFC 296 action. Back in November, the promotion announced the pair would be meeting again but did not disclose the date or location.
— UFC (@ufc) December 16, 2023
The two first met back in August of 2020 at UFC 252 when Vera defeated O'Malley by TKO in the first round. The finish wasn't without controversy, as O'Malley appeared to injure his leg in the fight, and after going down to the mat, Vera finished him on the ground with strikes before the referee stopped the bout. Some credit Vera for delivering the shot that injured O'Malley's leg that ultimately led to the stoppage, while others say O'Malley's injury was a fluke and that the fight was competitive before the abrupt ending.
Either way, the loss was O'Malley's first, and only, in his professional MMA career. O'Malley is currently 17-1 with one no contest in his professional career and is 9-1 plus the no contest in the UFC.
Since fighting Vera, O'Malley has fought six times with five wins and the no contest. Back in August, the Montanan became the first from the Treasure State to win a UFC title when he defeated Aljamain Sterling by TKO in the second round in Boston, Massachusetts.
Vera, 31, who originally hails from Ecuador and currently trains out of California, is getting his first title shot in the UFC. He is 23-8-1 as a professional and is 15-7 in the UFC. He is currently 5-2 since his meeting with O'Malley.