Tim Welch reveals his side of Sean O’Malley’s sparring session with Alexandre Pantoja

Tim Welch weighed in on a past sparring session between UFC champions Sean O'Malley and Alexandre Pantoja.

Bantamweight champ O’Malley and flyweight champ Pantoja have previously bickered about a sparring session that allegedly took place in 2017, with each claiming that they got the better of the other. O’Malley’s version is that he put Pantoja down in Round 1 of the session but eventually tired and got choked out in Round 3.

As Pantoja (27-5 MMA, 11-3 UFC) gears up for his second title defense against Steve Erceg (12-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC 301 headliner, the topic was brought up again. Pantoja claimed he smashed O’Malley (18-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC), who responded by reminding him that he stopped him in the first round.

O’Malley’s coach, Welch, chimed in, naturally siding with his fighter’s version of the story.

“Not really in fight camp at all,” Welch said on his YouTube channel. “Going to sparring maybe to get a few rounds and Henry (Cejudo’s) like, ‘Hey, you want to spar this guy?’ So Sean says, ‘Yeah, I’ll spar him.’ They spar one round, Sean comes out off the rip, puts him down. Puts him down in the first minute. Now mind you this is – I don’t even remember what year this is.

“I don’t even think Sean was a professional yet. He might have been a professional just breaking in. …Sean comes out there, bounces around, young buck. Boom, hits him with a liver shot, puts him down. Pantoja has to stop. He has to wave it off. He has to go over to Henry, kneel down, call it off. I mean, there’s a video – never released video, but he puts him down.”

UFC 301 (Pay-per-view/ESPN/ESPN+) takes place Saturday at Rio Arena in Rio de Janeiro.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 301.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie