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Sean O'Malley may be the star he promised he would be. "Suga" made the first defense of his bantamweight title on Saturday night at UFC 299 by battering Marlon "Chito" Vera over five rounds in Miami. O'Malley thumped Vera seemingly at will over the course of 25 minutes, but Vera stayed in the fight until the very end.

Vera even ate one of the toughest shots imaginable and barely even staggered. O'Malley landed a flush jumping knee to he head that made a loud cracking sound on impact. Yet Vera stayed standing and continued to fight. O'Malley swept the judges' scorecards as he avenged the only loss on his professional record -- a loss he still disputes to this day because of an injury suffered in their first meeting in 2020.

"Suga" now has his sights set on moving up to 145 pounds to challenge new champion Ilia Topuria in Spain. But if he can't convince UFC president Dana White to make that fight, O'Malley said he'd fight top contender Merab Dvalishvili instead.

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Elsewhere on the card, Dustin Poirier reminded many why he's one of the best fighters to step into the Octagon and has one of the biggest hearts in the sport. Poirier rallied from a pair of submission attempts and constant pressure from rising contender Benoit Saint Denis to score a second-round knockout that sent shockwaves through the arena. Poirier, fresh of a knockout loss of his own to Justin Gaethje, could still be a factor at 155 pounds if he's able to put together performances like that. Plus, Michael "Venom" Page made a successful UFC debut by outpointing Kevin Holland. And Jack Della Maddalena rallied to score a late knockout of Gilbert Burns.

CBS Sports was with you throughout fight week with the latest news, in-depth features and betting advice to consider. Thanks for stopping by and we'll see you at UFC 300 in Las Vegas.

UFC 299 fight card, odds

  • Sean O'Malley (c) def. Marlon Vera via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-44)
  • Dustin Poirier def. Benoit Saint Denis via second-round knockout (punches)
  • Kevin Holland def. Michael Page via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Jack Della Maddalena def. Gilbert Burns via third-round knockout (punches)
  • Petr Yan def. Song Yadong via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Curtis Blaydes def. Jailton Almeida via second-round TKO (punches)
  • Maycee Barber def. Katlyn Cerminara via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Mateusz Gamrot def. Rafael dos Anjos via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Kyler Phillips def. Pedro Munhoz via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Philipe Lins def. Ion Cutelaba via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Michel Pereira def. Michał Oleksiejczuk via first-round submission (rear-naked choke)
  • Robelis Despaigne def. Josh Parisian via first-round knockout (punches)
  • Assu Almabayev def. C.J. Vergara via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Joanne Wood def. Maryna Moroz via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

UFC 299 countdown