At UFC 280, O’Malley secured a sizable rise up the 135-pound ladder by narrowly outpointing a former champion and the then-#1-ranked contender. The three-round affair in Abu Dhabi, which preceded a pair of title fights, drew significant attention post-event.
But while that was somewhat because of O’Malley’s performance, which saw him deal a blow to his detractors by going toe-to-toe with “No Mercy” across 15 minutes, it was also largely because of the controversial nature of the result.
“Sugar” exited the Etihad Arena with a decision victory added to his record after two of the three judges scored the bout in his favor. Many, however, believed that Yan did enough to earn the nod.
But according to the new #1-ranked bantamweight, the debate can be easily ended by a simple rewatch.
O’Malley: ‘One & Three Were Clearly Mine’
During an appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, O’Malley was asked if he’s gone back and viewed the contest, and whether it’s affirmed the belief that he did enough to secure a victory on October 22.
The Montana native believes that, per the criteria, the correct scorecards would grant him rounds one and three. O’Malley added that most should be able to acknowledge that with a second look at the three-round affair.
“(I’ve rewatched it) multiple times, probably five times. If you’re judging that fight off of damage, I think one and three are clearly mine,” O’Malley said. “A lot of the people that came out and were so mad that I won were all the same exact people that were saying I was gonna get absolutely smoked. I go in there and win, and now they’re having a tough time. I just highly recommend that everyone go back and rewatch the fight before you make your solid opinion.”
In the aftermath of the result, “Sugar” appeared hesitant to lay claim to the win, admitting that the bout felt extremely close. But while some used that as evidence in favor of their “robbery” claims, O’Malley has insisted that his post-fight remarks and demeanor weren’t out of surprise at the result.
“I was just being myself. I wanted to watch the fight back. I knew it was a close fight. Everyone was like, ‘Sean was even surprised he won!’ I don’t know where they got that from. I was just being in the moment. I always close my eyes after every fight. When you close your eyes, you can really feel more and be in the moment… I was just doing that and they announced my name. I smiled, and I don’t know where they’re getting the narrative that, ‘Oh, he was even surprised!’”
How did you score Sean O’Malley’s fight against Petr Yan at UFC 280?
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