“Sugar” Sean O’Malley is finally back.
The former Dana White Contender Series veteran—who has been out of action since March 2018—has booked his next appearance inside the Octagon as he’s expected to face Jose Quinonez at UFC 247 on Feb. 8 in Houston.
Multiple sources close to the contest confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Tuesday after both fighters posted about the matchup on social media.
This is the second time that O’Malley and Quinonez have been matched up after they were originally scheduled to meet at UFC 229 in October 2018.
O’Malley was eventually pulled from the card after he was flagged by the USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) for a potential doping violation. It was later revealed that O’Malley had tested positive for Ostarine, which is banned at all times for athletes.
USADA then determined that he was likely the victim of a contaminated supplement due to the extremely low levels of the drug found in his system and he was ultimately suspended for six months.
O’Malley was then scheduled to return in July at UFC 239 but he was once again knocked off the card due to tests continuing to show trace amounts of Ostarine in his system. O’Malley revealed at the time that USADA informed him that the positive test was likely a result of a “residual” effect from the drug being in his system from the past year and he was getting “no performance advantage.”
Still, the state of Nevada wouldn’t allow him to compete as they investigated the situation and O’Malley’s return was delayed once again.
Now it appears he has put the drug testing issues behind him as O’Malley seeks to kickstart his career after a promising start in the UFC where he rattled off back-to-back wins over Terrion Ware and Andre Soukhamthath.
As for Quinonez, he’s an Ultimate Fighter alum who has amassed a 5-2 record in the UFC including a win over Carlos Huachin in his last appearance back in September.
O’Malley vs. Quinonez is the latest addition to a growing UFC 247 fight card, which will be headlined by a pair of title fights as light heavyweight champion Jon Jones takes on Dominick Reyes in the main event and Valentina Shevchenko defends her flyweight belt against Katlyn Chookagian.