On the main card of UFC 280, we are going to see a fight that’s been already deemed a title eliminator by Dana White. Former bantamweight champion Petr Yan (16-3) will be taking on the popular “Suga” Sean O’Malley (15-1, 1 NC).
For O’Malley, this is by far the biggest test of his career. In his last fight, he fought Pedro Munhoz at UFC 276. To be completely honest, it wasn’t the best performance by O’Malley leading up to his accidental eye poke which caused the fight to end in a No Contest.
Prior to that, he had three straight TKO wins. His toughest fight to date was against Chito Vera and Vera utilized brutal kicks to get the stoppage in that one. This is a massive step up in competition for The Suga Show.
Petr Yan had a razor close fight with Aljamain Sterling in his last fight. After a rough start, Yan came on strong and even won the fight in the eyes of Dana White. However, two judges gave the fight and the UFC bantamweight title to Aljamain Sterling. Granted one was by DQ, but to date, Sterling is the only man to best Yan inside the octagon.
UFC 280 Prediction
This is such a fascinating matchup given the skillsets of both men. The former UFC champion is known for his incredible boxing. His timing is sensational and he just has a way of landing big shots in the right location.
Sean O’Malley is also known for his striking. However, he’s much more different. O’Malley is a rangy striker who uses a ton of feints and kicks. For O’Malley, this fight is pivotal for him to keep on the outside. I definitely see a world where O’Malley can stay at his range and point fight his way to victory.
However, it’s really hard for me to bet against Petr Yan. I think this fight is going to be very close and competitive, but in the end, the bigger and crisper shots are going to land for the former champion. O’Malley proves he belongs in this one, but Yan gets the win at UFC 280.
Prediction: Petr Yan by Decision