Sean O’ Malley has only fought unranked fighters in the UFC so far. However, he wants to somehow make his way through the other bantamweight contenders and fight interim champion Petr Yan sometime in the future.
During a recent conversation with ESPN MMA reporter Brett Okamoto, O’Malley was asked which current UFC bantamweight superstar interests him the most for a matchup. ‘Sugar’ mentioned the name of ‘No Mercy’.
“God, I want to fight Petr. I know he is the champ and I know I have to beat certain people to get to that. But that’s a fight that I want, eventually. That is kind of the end goal. Even if he’s not the champ like that’s a fight I want. I think he is one of the best pound-for-pound (fighters) in the world, probably top three. I just think that it is a sweet fight. I love his style, his boxing, the way he switches stances and covers up, his defense. Like he’s just so good and that’s a fight I really want.“
Sean even questioned, If anyone can compete against Yan. O’ Malley stated, “I don’t see who’s gonna beat Petr other than me… I think he’s got higher-level experience, but I think I’m just a different animal.” Yan (16-2) is expected to challenge UFC bantamweight titleholder Aljamain Sterling (20-3) in a unification bout early next year. He defeated Cory Sandhagen at UFC 267 in Abu Dhabi to seal interim gold and a Sterling rematch.
Sean O’ Malley fight will open the UFC 269 main card this weekend
O’Malley (14-1) will feature against Raulian Paiva (21-3) in the main card opener of UFC 269 in Las Vegas this Saturday. The event will be headlined by a lightweight championship bout between Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier. Meanwhile, the co-main event will see Amanda Nunes defend her women’s bantamweight belt against Julianna Pena.
O’ Malley’s skills inside the octagon shouldn’t be doubted as he has had some of the most creative finishes in recent history. But Yan is a challenge bigger than any of the opponents O’Malley ever faced.