O’Malley and Yan faced off on the UFC 280 main card in one of the most highly-anticipated three-round fights in recent UFC history. The winner would likely get the next title shot, as UFC President Dana White alluded to during fight week interviews.
Yan and O’Malley threw hands from the opening seconds of the fight, swinging with jaw-dropping pace and combinations. The two also battled in a few scrambles on the ground, with each fighter having their moments.
After three rounds of action, O’Malley earned the nod on the judges’ scorecards via a split decision (29-28 x 2, 28-29), despite many fans and pundits scoring the fight for Yan.
UFC Fighters Go Wild Watching Sean O’Malley Vs. Petr Yan
See what UFC fighters had to say watching O’Malley vs. Yan.
Reaction To Judges’ Scorecards
O’Malley will likely be the next man in line for a UFC bantamweight title shot with the split decision win. He got a huge step up in competition and seized the opportunity in one of the best fights of 2022.
Entering UFC 280, O’Malley fought a no-contest against Pedro Munhoz due to an accidental eye poke. He won three-straight fights before that, including knockouts of Thomas Almeida and Raulian Paiva.
Yan has now lost back-to-back close split decisions after losing the title to Aljamain Sterling via disqualification at UFC 259. After the DQ loss, he won the interim title over Cory Sandhagen at UFC 267.
Check out the UFC 280 results and highlights here.