LOCAL ATHLETES

Sean O’Connell Wins $1 Million Light Heavyweight Title, Announces Retirement

Dec 31, 2018, 8:37 PM | Updated: Jan 2, 2019, 11:09 am
(Ryan Loco/PFL)...
(Ryan Loco/PFL)
(Ryan Loco/PFL)

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. – Salt Lake City native Sean O’Connell defeated Vinny Magalhaes in the third round via TKO of the Professional Fighters League Light Heavyweight Championship and takes home $1 million.

O’Connell also announced his retirement from Mixed Martial Arts after winning the biggest fight of his career.

“There is no better way to go out than right now,” O’Connell said. “It’s the last time you will see me compete in this sport.”

O’Connell started his MMA career in 2007 and has compiled a 21-10 career record and 4-1 in the PFL.

First Round

Magalhaes started the fight by landing two takedowns and was trying to submit O’Connell on the ground. But the Salt Lake City MMA veteran wasn’t having any of it as he countered every takedown from the Brazilian Jujitsu World Champion. After landing the two takedowns, Magalhaes won the first round.


Second Round

O’Connell was more aggressive in keeping the fight standing as he avoided every takedown attempt that Magalhaes would try.


While avoiding being taken down, O’Connell would land some serious punches on Magalhaes while taking a couple on the chin as well. The second round would go to O’Connell.

Third Round

Much of the same in the third round but both fighters were looking like they were out of gas but O’Connell stayed continued to throw punches.

When Magalhaes would fail to land a takedown, O’Connell would step back to allow Magalhaes to stand up on his feet again but Vinny would conserve energy and lay on the ground until the referee told him to get up.


A very gassed Magalhaes would return to his corner after the third round and wasn’t able to continue the fight with a possible orbital bone injury, giving O’Connell the win.

“The Real OC” won the Light Heavyweight Championship and $1 million over the heavy favorite Magalhaes, who finished all four of his PFL fights in the first round entering the bout with O’Connell.

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