Thursday, December 8, 2022

O’Malley Shares What Would “Surprise” Him At UFC 280

UFC bantamweight Sean O’Malley doesn’t expect former champion Petr Yan to be able to ‘figure him out’ this weekend at UFC 280.

On October 22, O’Malley will have the chance to secure a sizable rise up the 135-pound ladder when he meets the #1-ranked man in the division. Up to now, “Sugar” has faced just one opponent who was ranked at the time. That clash against Pedro Munhoz ended in a no-contest this past July.

Despite that, though, and even with his place outside the division’s top 10, O’Malley has been put in a featured position on arguably the year’s most stacked UFC card against one of the best that the division has to offer.

In what represents somewhat new territory for him, O’Malley will enter Saturday’s fight as an underdog, and with many doubting his ability to hang with a fighter like Yan inside the Octagon.

O’Malley, however, sees things differently.

During a recent sit-down interview with BT Sport, O’Malley was asked about Yan’s habit of starting slow in the opening round while he gages distance and figures out his opponents. The strategy is often termed ‘downloading date’.

For the Montana native, the odds of the Russian successfully doing that at UFC 280 are low.

“I think it’s gonna be a 15-minute sprint. I think he’s gonna come out and try to prove a point that I don’t belong in there with him,” O’Malley said. “He’s gonna go pedal to the metal and try to get me out of there. I feel the same way.

“I just think he’s gonna have a very, very tough time ‘downloading data’ on me. I just don’t think he’s gonna be able to figure me out. If that’s his plan, to go in there and try to figure me out in the first round, and then win the second and third — I’d be very surprised and impressed if he could do that,” O’Malley added.

While O’Malley is confident in his ability to be an unsolvable puzzle for Yan’s attacks, he also expects to do some serious damage with his own offense.

O’Malley Would Be “Surprised” If He Doesn’t Drop Yan At UFC 280

As the biggest fight of his career to date edges closer, O’Malley certainly hasn’t let his confidence slip away. That’s even true when it comes to his bold ambitions to significantly hurt “No Mercy” on the feet.

Although the talented former champion has never been finished, nor has he really appeared hurt in any of his UFC outings, O’Malley is almost certain that he’ll drop the Russian come fight night.

“I’d be surprised if I don’t drop him a couple times. Whether I finish him — I know how tough he is, how durable he is. He’s a savage,” O’Malley told BT Sport. “Obviously, I’d like to get him out of there, but I’m ready for a 15-minute war. But I would be surprised if I don’t drop him.”

Soon after the surprising fight announcement, O’Malley suggested that he may well become the first man to knock Yan out. On Saturday, he’ll have the chance to put his money where his mouth is in Abu Dhabi.

How do you think Sean O’Malley will perform against Petr Yan at UFC 280?

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