Today we learned that UFC 280 in October is getting a little more star power. In an interview with Ryan Clark, “Suga” Sean O’Malley (15-1, 1 NC) announced that is next fight will go down on October 22nd against former bantamweight champion Petr Yan (16-3).
The fight will go down in Abu Dhabi and it represents a huge jump in competition for O’Malley. O’Malley just fought at UFC 276 where he took on Pedro Munhoz. The fight ended in a No Contest after O’Malley accidentally poked Munhoz in the eye.
The fight was not super eventful before the fight ended. In fact, Munhoz was winning on two of the three judges scorecards. Since the fight, O’Malley and Yan have gone back-and-forth on social media.
This week, O’Malley teased that his next opponent could be Yan, but there wasn’t a lot of substance behind it. Now we know that there was something behind it and him and Yan will fight at UFC 280.
@SugaSeanMMA announced during an interview with @Realrclark25 that he will fight @PetrYanUFC next at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi ? pic.twitter.com/1JfUQAFUV4
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) July 20, 2022
Former UFC champion returns
The fight in Abu Dhabi will mark the return of Petr Yan after he lost in his title fight against Aljamain Sterling at UFC 273. The fight was razor close and Yan lost by split decision. Many people including Dana White thought that Yan won the fight.
Yan is just 1-2 in his last three. However, one loss was to Sterling by DQ in a fight that he was controlling. The other was the split decision loss to Sterling. In between those two was an interim title victory over Cory Sandhagen in a fight where he looked tremendous.
Despite not being the champion, many still believe that Yan is the best bantamweight in the UFC. This is a big fight for both men. For Yan, it’s an opportunity to beat someone that has a big name and get back on the winning track.
For O’Malley, this is a chance to skip the line. If he beats Petr Yan at UFC 280, he goes right to the top and a title shot could be around the corner.