The two are set to collide on the October 22nd main card with the winner receiving the next shot at gold, according to a recent comment from UFC president Dana White.
Well, the two men came face to face at Thursday’s presser and during it, Yan crushed O’Malley after Suga questioned the Russian’s recorded height. “It says he’s 5-(foot)-7 on the (UFC) stats, but there’s no way,” O’Malley said (h/t MMA Junkie). “He’s 5-5. I just believe I’m a lot better everywhere.”
“It’s not about the height,” Yan hit back. “Just look at him. He’s like a whore on the side of the road.”
O’Malley didn’t reply until a media member asked for his response. “No, that was good,” Suga said. “That was good.”
A little later, the two engaged in their first face-off of the week, and after a few moments of staring each other down, Yan decided to push the American. You can watch them square up below via the embedded YouTube video:
Yan Called O’Malley a ‘Conor McGregor Wannabe’
During the UFC 280 media day on Wednesday, Yan called Suga a “UFC project” and “Conor McGregor wannabe.”
When asked for his response during the press conference, this is what O’Malley had to say:
“I mean, Conor, some of the stuff he’s done recently, I don’t want to be. But he’s had a pretty sweet career, so that’s someone that’s not too bad to (be compared with). I’m going to smash Petr, how about that? Is that a better answer?”
Boasting 2.5 million followers on Instagram, O’Malley is undoubtedly one of the sport’s biggest stars, utilizing platforms like YouTube and TikTok to help build his name.
O’Malley (15-1, 1 N/C), who is known for his electric finishes inside the Octagon, will take on the toughest test of his professional mixed martial arts career when he battles Yan (16-3) on Saturday. Yan is the former UFC bantamweight champion who failed to reclaim undisputed gold in his last outing against Aljamain Sterling.
Sterling will defend his belt in the night’s co-main event against another former champion, TJ Dillashaw. And as mentioned, the winner of that match will take on the victor of Yan vs. O’Malley, according to White.
O’Malley Said Yan ‘Got Bullied’ Into Taking Fight With Him
Yan is currently ranked No. 1 in the division, per the official UFC standings, whereas O’Malley sits at No. 11. And with Suga coming off a no-contest with Pedro Munhoz earlier this year, some were surprised to see Yan take a fight with someone ranked much lower than him.
Well, according to Suga, Yan ultimately took the fight because he was “bullied” into it.
“He was the only guy after that Pedro Munhoz fight (when) I went back to the UFC and said, ‘Hey, I want to book a fight,’” O’Malley said during media day (h/t MMA Junkie). “Obviously that wasn’t a satisfying victory. Petr was literally the only guy in the top 10 without a fight.
“He turned down Chito (Marlon Vera). He turned down Chito, so I don’t think he really had an option. I think the UFC probably went to him and said, ‘Hey, you can’t just keep turning these guys down. You have to fight the ‘Suga Show.’
“I know he was saying that he picked that fight, but I don’t believe that. I think he got bullied into it.”