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5 Jun, 2020 12:02

'The Suga Show' and 'The Dream': Young guns Sean O'Malley and Chase Hooper get ready to impress at UFC 250 (VIDEO)

'The Suga Show' and 'The Dream': Young guns Sean O'Malley and Chase Hooper get ready to impress at UFC 250 (VIDEO)

UFC 250 features a card full of rising prospects, with young stars Sean O'Malley and Chase Hooper hoping to push themselves up the ladder to continue their promising carers.

The two fighters feature in back-to-back bouts on Saturday night's card, with Hooper taking on Alex Caceres in the featured preliminary bout of the night, before O'Malley takes on bantamweight veteran Eddie Wineland in the opening main card bout on pay-per-view.

For both men, it's a chance to showcase their fighting skills, with the two young fighters both tipped to make an impact in their respective UFC careers.

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Previously billed as "The Teenage Dream," Hooper has tweaked his moniker after turning 20 last September. He'd alerted the UFC to his skills as early as 2018, however, when his performances on the regional circuit saw him get a shot on Dana White's Contender Series.

He won his fight on the UFC's talent-finding show to earn a developmental deal with the UFC, and he returned to the local scene to pick up more victories before the UFC deemed him ready for the big time.

That time came late last year when he was drafted in to face Swedish striker Daniel Teymur at UFC 245. And, despite Teymur's early barrage, Hooper survived before finishing his man inside the first round.

The 20-year-old featherweight's fresh-faced persona and self-deprecating attitude has made him a fun follow on social media, as he has played along with an internet joke suggesting the curly-haired newcomer looked like the son of former UFC star Ben Askren. He even played a joke on Jorge Masvidal, who brutally knocked out Askren last summer, during a UFC Fight Pass video when he demanded to know why Masvidal would do such a horrible thing to his "father".

As a 20-year-old, Hooper also isn't able to enjoy a post-fight alcoholic beverage, and he enjoyed jokes with reporters after his win last December, saying he planned on binging on M&Ms instead.

But don't let the babyface look fool you. Hooper is a legitimate talent who already has UFC-level talent at a young age. If his progress continues in the UFC, there's no reason why he couldn't become a contender in a few years' time.

On Saturday, Hooper takes on another former hot prospect, Alex Caceres, whose eye-catching fighting style should give Hooper the chance to put on another impressive performance in an entertaining stylistic matchup. If he can get past Caceres, tougher tests, against bigger names, will be just around the corner.

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Sean O'Malley looked like a potential star of the future the moment UFC fans laid eyes on him.

O'Malley made a splash in the second-ever Contender Series show, as he claimed a hugely-impressive first-round knockout before announcing to the camera, "Welcome to 'The Suga Show.'"

That standout performance saw him earn a UFC contract from Dana White and since then, O'Malley's fighting abilities have continued to evolve as he has claimed back-to-back wins in his first two outings.

But, with his career seemingly set for lift-off, O'Malley ran into issues with USADA, and also suffered a knee injury. It meant the talented young star was forced away from the cage for almost two years as he fought to clear his name and rehab his knee.

But, after a long battle, O'Malley finally returned to the octagon at UFC 248 in March and bounced back in emphatic fashion.

He defeated Jose Quinonez via head-kick in his most recent display to mark his return to the octagon in fine style as he made an emotional return after almost two years away from the cage. 

It showed that the 25-year-old was back on track, back to his best, and ready to move his way up the 135-pound ladder. 

Now O'Malley will take on UFC and WEC veteran Eddie Wineland, who will pose a seasoned test for the rising bantamweight star.

If O'Malley adds another stoppage win to his record to take his career to 12-0, expect the hype to go through the roof as everyone starts to tune in to "The Suga Show".

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