Sean O’Malley Booked in Huge Title Eliminator for UFC 280

Sean O'Malley, UFC

Getty Sean O'Malley is seen on stage during the UFC 269 press conference.

UFC superstar Sean O’Malley has been booked for a high-stakes bout with Petr Yan.

Rising prospect O’Malley will take on the former interim UFC bantamweight title holder Yan at UFC 280 on Oct. 22 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

In an appearance on ESPN MMA’s “DC & RC” show, “Suga” Sean revealed the news of his next opponent.

“I’m getting the fight that I wanted, and the fight that the people want. I’m fighting Petr Yan on October 22nd in Abu Dhabi. I’m so excited for this I almost can’t believe it’s real. It’s happening, yeah, Petr Yan October 22nd.

“I feel like my last four or five fights have just been on stacked cards and every time I feel like I’m the main event but Islam vs. Charles is massive. I think (RC) said it right, Charles is defending his belt. Aljo vs. TJ, super interesting fight. Then, me vs. Petr, it’s crazy. Just those three alone could be the whole card and it’s an absolute banger.”

O’Malley and Yan Had Been Going Back and Forth Before the Booking

During a previous interview with ESPN at UFC 276 media day, O’Malley had claimed that the top ten ranked contenders in his division were ducking him.

It didn’t take long for “No Mercy” to take notice and fire a response right back, tweeting on Jun. 30: “Hey pink poodle @SugaSeanMMA, if you win on Saturday and really wanna fight me I dare you to call me out and I will accept it. But if you just wanna make useless noise for hype, stop talking about me, coward

Then, O’Malley took a dig at Yan in a recent episode of his show “TMS,” claiming the Russian didn’t want to take the fight. Now, it seems like the call out and further trash talk worked as the two would finally get to square off.

O’Malley respected Yan when he broke the news and praised his boxing abilities.

“In my eyes, Petr, well, he’s obviously the number one contender right now, pretty much one and one against Aljo,” he said. “He whooped Aljo the first fight then he kinda got whooped up in the second fight but he could be considered the champion. The whole top five really.

“The way Petr beat Jose Aldo was one of my favorite performances of Petr Yan so going in there and stepping up against a guy like Petr is exciting, it’s motivating, and it’s the biggest fight in the bantamweight division right now. I think it’s bigger than Aljo vs. TJ.”

O’Malley Acknowledges Yan’s Boxing but Believes He’s the Better Fighter

Yan has garnered a reputation for being one of the best boxers in the UFC. Outside of his contests with the reigning 135 lb king Aljamain Sterling, Yan has gone undefeated in the promotion and has put on masterful showcases against Cory Sandhagen, Jose Aldo, and Urijah Faber.

As a solid puncher, his match up with O’Malley, who’s also a striking specialist, is bound to be a fan-friendly affair.

O’Malley’s last outing against Pedro Munhoz resulted in a no-contest. Munhoz was seen as a major jump in competition for the young O’Malley but his next opponent would be an even bigger leap.

Despite the relative lack of experience, O’Malley is confident that it’ll be the “Suga” show in October.

“I believe I’m better than Petr at what we’re going to do and that’s f**king fighting. I’m better than Petr and I truly believe that and I think that’s what is going to get the job done.

“I’m going to go in there more prepared than Petr, I’m going to go in there and just do what I do. Obviously, putting Petr’s lights out would be massive but I just need to go in there and get the job done against Petr Yan.”

If O’Malley comes out on top, he could be inches away from securing a shot at the title.

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