O’Malley Expecting Long-Term Rivalry Against Yan

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Sean O’Malley believes that his upcoming fight against Petr Yan will not their last.

Sean O’Malley vs. Petr Yan was one of the latest additions to UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi, set to be headlined by Charles Oliveira and Islam Makachev for the vacant lightweight title. The two bantamweights are set to fight over the course of three rounds, despite a substantial gap in their rankings.

In his last outing at UFC 276, O’Malley faced off against bantamweight staple Pedro Muhnoz. After an uneventful first round, the second saw an accidental eye poke (caused by O’Malley) lead to the fight ending in a no contest.

Yan on the other hand, is coming off a loss at the hands of current bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling. After losing his belt to Sterling via disqualification, the pair rematched at UFC 273. The rematch was far closer than their first outing in all aspects, with Sterling’s highly touted grappling giving Yan serious problems on the mat — enough to earn him a split decision victory against the Russian.

Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC

Speaking to BT Sport’s Adam Catterall ahead of UFC London, O’Malley gave his thoughts on his next opponent in Yan, revealing that he believes they will end up fighting multiple times before it is all said and done.

“I think we are going to fight multiple times. He’s (29), I’m 27, the bantamweight division’s the best division in the UFC. If i had to predict, I think me and Petr will fight multiple times. he’s not going anywhere. He’s not going to go below top 5 ever. Once I’m up there, I don’t believe I’ll drop either”.

A fight against Yan is something O’Malley has had his sights on for a considerable length of time. As early as June of 2021, ‘Sugar’ has been antagonizing Yan on social-media — calling for the fight despite the two being at different points in their respective careers.

“It’s crazy that it’s happening. I’ve wanted this fight for a while. I’ve been talking [explicative] to Petr for a while, a little in Russian, and it’s finally here. It’s exciting.”

Despite having requested the fight, O’Malley completely recognizes the considerable task in front of him as well as that losing would not be the end of the line by any means.

“I already know I’m as good as I am. I don’t have to go out there and beat Petr to know I’m good. I know I’m going, losing to Petr wouldn’t be the end of the train. I’m still going, I’m still going to be champ,” O-Malley continued. “It’s such a huge opportunity, I’m so [explicative] excited.”

UFC 280 is currently scheduled for October 22nd in Abu Dhabi.

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