Sean O'Connell (fighter)

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Sean O'Connell
BornSean O'Connell
(1983-09-02) September 2, 1983 (age 35)
Cottage Grove, Minnesota, United States
Other namesThe Real OC
ResidenceSalt Lake City, Utah, United States
Height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight205 lb (93 kg; 14 st 9 lb)
DivisionLight Heavyweight
Fighting out ofSalt Lake City, Utah, United States
TeamJeremy Horn's Elite Performance
TrainerJeremy Horn
Years active2007–2018
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout12
By submission3
By decision6
By knockout6
By submission2
By decision2
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Sean O'Connell (born September 2, 1983) is a retired American professional mixed martial artist who most recently competed in the Light Heavyweight division of the Professional Fighters League. A professional competitor since 2007, O'Connell has formerly competed for the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Maximum Fighting Championship.


Originally from Cottage Grove, Minnesota, O'Connell competed in football and wrestling at Jordan High School in Sandy, Utah before continuing his football career collegiately. While in high school O'Connell was a member of the coveted football group Pain Train, which was reserved for only the toughest members of the offensive line. However, O'Connell would transfer to three different schools including Southern Utah University and The University of Utah where he made the team as a walk-on, while looking to get more playing time. O'Connell eventually lost interest and turned his attention to mixed martial arts. O'Connell graduated from The University of Utah, with a degree in psychology.[1][2][3] He also attended Weber State.[4]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

O'Connell made his professional MMA debut in 2007 with no previous training other than cardio kickboxing which he would do to help stay in shape. Despite having limited training, O'Connell was successful early on in his career and held an overall record of 6-2, which earned him an invitation to compete on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Nogueira vs. Team Mir. O'Connell, however, was eliminated in the opening round to make it to the final cast. O'Connell, who also ran a talk show for a radio station in San Francisco at the time, was on a five-fight winning streak and held an overall professional record of 14-4, before inviting UFC president Dana White to come onto his show. O'Connell asked White for a contract and was signed a year later.[2] O'Connell was the co-host of a popular sports talk radio show on ESPN700 in Utah called The OC and Hackett Show[5]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

O'Connell made his promotional debut as a short notice injury replacement at The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale on April 16, 2014 against Ryan Jimmo.[6] O'Connell was defeated via knockout in the first round.[7]

His next appearance was also a short notice fight against Gian Villante on June 28, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 43, where he replaced an injured Anthony Perosh.[8] O'Connell lost the fight via split decision.[9] Their performance earned both participants Fight of the Night honors.[10]

On January 18, 2015, O'Connell then faced Matt Van Buren at UFC Fight Night 59.;[11] he won via third-round TKO.[12] Both participants earned Fight of the Night honors.[13] He then faced Anthony Perosh on May 10, 2015 at UFC Fight Night 65.[14] He won the fight via TKO in the first round.[15]

O'Connell has been known to goof around during weigh-ins before the fight, such as booping Van Buren on the nose or playing an improvised game of rock-paper-scissors with Perosh.[16] He claims he does his jokes to add levity to an otherwise tense situation.[17]

O'Connell faced Ilir Latifi on January 17, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 81.[18] He lost the fight by knockout in the first round.[19]

O'Connell next faced Steve Bossé on June 18, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 89.[20] Bossé was awarded a unanimous decision victory.[21] The back and forth action earned both participants Fight of the Night honors.[22]

O'Connell faced Corey Anderson on December 9, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 102.[23] He lost the fight by TKO in the second round.[24]

Professional Fighters League[edit]

O'Connell signed with PFL in 2018. In his debut, he faced Ronny Markes at PFL 2 on June 21, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois, winning the fight by TKO in the second round.

In his second fight for the promotion, O'Connell faced Bazigit Atajev at PFL 7 on August 30, 2018.[25] He lost the fight via TKO in the first round.

In the fall of 2018, O'Connell entered the PFL Light Heavyweight tournament. At PFL 9 on October 13, 2018, he defeated Dan Spohn by majority decision in the quarterfinal round and then fought Smealinho Rama in the semifinal round the same night, winning by knockout. O'Connell faced Vinny Magalhães in the finals at PFL 11 on December 31, 2018. He won the back-and-forth fight via TKO between the third and fourth round after Vinny Magalhães stopped the bout. With the win, O'Connell was crowned the inaugural PFL Light Heavyweight champion and earned the $1 million dollar cash prize.


Following his PFL tournament win, O'Connell announced he was retiring from MMA competition.[26]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

Mixed martial arts[edit]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 21–10 Vinny Magalhães TKO (corner stoppage) PFL 11 December 31, 2018 3 5:00 New York City, New York, United States Won the 2018 PFL Light Heavyweight Championship. Vacated the belt after retiring from MMA.
Win 20–10 Smealinho Rama KO (punches) PFL 9 October 13, 2018 1 1:45 Long Beach, California, United States 2018 PFL Light Heavyweight Semifinal bout.
Win 19–10 Dan Spohn Decision (majority) 2 5:00 2018 PFL Light Heavyweight Quarterfinal bout.
Loss 18–10 Bazigit Atajev TKO (spinning back kick and punches) PFL 7 August 30, 2018 1 3:30 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 18–9 Ronny Markes TKO (punches) PFL 2 June 21, 2018 2 0:41 Chicago, Illinois, United States
Loss 17–9 Corey Anderson TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Abdurakhimov December 9, 2016 2 2:36 Albany, New York, United States
Loss 17–8 Steve Bossé Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: MacDonald vs. Thompson June 18, 2016 3 5:00 Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Fight of the Night.
Loss 17–7 Ilir Latifi KO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Dillashaw vs. Cruz January 17, 2016 1 0:30 Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Win 17–6 Anthony Perosh TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Miocic vs. Hunt May 10, 2015 1 0:56 Adelaide, Australia
Win 16–6 Matt Van Buren TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: McGregor vs. Siver January 18, 2015 3 2:11 Boston, Massachusetts, United States Fight of the Night.
Loss 15–6 Gian Villante Decision (split) UFC Fight Night: Te-Huna vs. Marquardt June 28, 2014 3 5:00 Auckland, New Zealand Fight of the Night.
Loss 15–5 Ryan Jimmo KO (punches) The Ultimate Fighter Nations Finale: Bisping vs. Kennedy April 16, 2014 1 4:27 Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Win 15–4 Markhaile Wedderburn Submission (rear-naked choke) MFC 39 January 17, 2014 1 1:48 Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Win 14–4 Marvin Eastman Decision (unanimous) Showdown Fights 12 September 28, 2013 3 5:00 Orem, Utah, United States
Win 13–4 Chris Guillen TKO (punches) Showdown Fights 9 November 16, 2012 3 0:21 Orem, Utah, United States
Win 12–4 Kip Ramos TKO (punches) Showdown Fights 7 May 4, 2012 1 0:33 Orem, Utah, United States Light Heavyweight debut.
Win 11–4 Trevor Carlson Decision (unanimous) Showdown Fights 6 February 24, 2012 3 5:00 Orem, Utah, United States
Win 10–4 Ben Fuimaono TKO (punches) Fight Night: Explosion June 10, 2011 1 4:34 Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Loss 9–4 Joseph Henle Submission (rear-naked choke) ZarMMA: Fight Night November 12, 2010 2 1:15 Layton, Utah, United States
Win 9–3 Tony King Decision (unanimous) UFO: Rumble at the Races July 24, 2010 3 5:00 Kennewick, Washington, United States
Win 8–3 Dwight Parker Submission (rear-naked choke) WCFC: World Championship Full Contact April 3, 2010 2 1:49 Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Loss 7–3 Jordan Smith Submission (rear-naked choke) Throwdown Showdown 3 February 20, 2009 1 2:30 Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Win 7–2 Hank Weiss Decision Jeremy Horn's Elite Fight Night 5 November 14, 2008 3 5:00 Layton, Utah, United States
Loss 6–2 Hank Weiss KO (punches) Jeremy Horn's Elite Fight Night 1 April 5, 2008 2 0:08 Layton, Utah, United States
Win 6–1 Lima Pule Submission (rear-naked choke) UCE: Worlds Collide December 1, 2007 2 3:28 Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Win 5–1 Lima Pule Decision (majority) UCE: Episode 6 November 10, 2007 3 Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Win 4–1 David Thomas TKO (punches) UCE: Episode 6 August 18, 2007 2 2:44 Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Loss 3–1 Kevin Hill TKO (punches) UCE: Episode 1 July 14, 2007 1 0:47 Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Win 3–0 Eric Wenzel TKO (punches) UCE: Finals June 16, 2007 1 1:24 Salt Lake City, Utah United States
Win 2–0 Kenneth Wirfs KO (punches) UCE: Episode 7 May 19, 2007 1 0:37 Salt Lake City, Utah, United States
Win 1–0 Jason Delrio KO (punches) UCE: Episode 2 April 13, 2007 1 0:36 Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sean O'Connell". UFC.
  2. ^ a b "Before eventual UFC deal, Sean O'Connell used his radio show to pitch Dana White - MMAjunkie". MMAjunkie.
  3. ^ "Sean O'Connell Bio - The Official Athletic Site of the University of Utah".
  4. ^
  5. ^ Broadway Media. "On Air". ESPN700.
  6. ^ Zane Simon (2014-03-06). "Report: UFC targeting Sean O'Connell to replace Steve Bosse at TUF Nations Finale". bloodyelbow. Retrieved 2014-03-06.
  7. ^ Steven Marrocco (2014-04-16). "TUF Nations Finale results, photos: Ryan Jimmo KOs Sean O'Connell in first". mmajunkie. Retrieved 2014-04-16.
  8. ^ Staff (2014-05-13). "Anthony Perosh out at UFC Fight Night 43, Gian Villante now meets Sean O'Connell". Retrieved 2014-05-13.
  9. ^ Matt Erickson (2014-06-28). "UFC Fight Night 43 results: Gian Villante takes split call from Sean O'Connell". Retrieved 2014-06-28.
  10. ^ Matt Erickson (2014-06-28). "UFC Fight Night 43 bonuses: Marquardt, Oliveira, Villante, O'Connell nab $50,000". Retrieved 2014-06-28.
  11. ^ Staff (2014-11-03). "UFC Fight Night Boston Update: Sean O'Connell, Matt Van Buren Set to Meet". Retrieved 2014-11-03.
  12. ^ Steven Marrocco (2015-01-18). "UFC Fight Night 59 results: Sean O'Connell survives beating, finishes Matt Van Buren". Retrieved 2015-01-18.
  13. ^ Thomas Myers (2015-01-19). "UFC Fight Night 59 bonuses: Conor McGregor, Lorenz Larkin bank an extra $50,000 each". Retrieved 2015-01-19.
  14. ^ Staff (2012-02-17). "UFC Fight Night 65 official for Australia with Hunt-Miocic, Tavares-Whittaker, more". Retrieved 2012-02-17.
  15. ^ Brent Brookhouse (2015-05-09). "UFC Fight Night 65 results: James Sean O'Connell quickly devastates Anthony Perosh". Retrieved 2015-05-09.
  16. ^ "UFC fighter pranks opponent at weigh-in with game of rock-paper-scissors". USA Today.
  17. ^ Sean O'Connell explains weigh-ins prank, slow start in victory over Matt Van Buren. 18 January 2015 – via YouTube.
  18. ^ Staff (2015-10-29). "Boston's UFC Fight Night 81 adds Ilir Latifi vs. Sean O'Connell light heavyweight scrap". Retrieved 2015-10-29.
  19. ^ Ben Fowlkes (2016-01-17). "UFC Fight Night 81 results: Ilir Latifi stuns Sean O'Connell with quick knockout". Retrieved 2016-01-17.
  20. ^ Staff (2016-03-29). "Multiple fight bookings made official for UFC Fight Night 89". Retrieved 2016-03-29.
  21. ^ Steven Marrocco (2016-06-18). "UFC Fight Night 89 results: Steve Bosse outbrawls Sean O'Connell in wild fight". Retrieved 2016-06-18.
  22. ^ Tristen Critchfield (2016-06-19). "UFC Fight Night Ottawa bonuses: Cerrone, Bosse, O'Connell, Jotko pocket $50K". Retrieved 2016-06-19.
  23. ^ Staff (2016-10-14). "UFC Fight Night 102 gets eight new fights". Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  24. ^ Steven Marrocco (2016-12-09). "UFC Fight Night 102 results: Corey Anderson grounds and pounds Sean O'Connell for TKO win". Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  25. ^ "Fight Card - PFL 7". PFL.
  26. ^ "PFL playoff results: Sean O'Connell retires from MMA with $1 million, belt after TKO of Vinny Magalhaes". MMAjunkie. 2019-01-01. Retrieved 2019-01-01.

External links[edit]