Morning Report: Petr Yan calls Sean O’Malley ‘a UFC project and Conor McGregor wannabe’ ahead of UFC 280 fight


Petr Yan thinks Sean O’Malley isn’t as good as he thinks he is.

Yan faces O’Malley this Saturday in bantamweight bout on the main card of UFC 280. The fight is arguably more anticipated than the bantamweight title fight between Aljamain Sterling and T.J. Dillashaw in the co-main event, with UFC President Dana White even comparing it to Conor McGregor’s fight with Jose Aldo. But while Yan can understand what White is getting at, he does not agree with him.

“Considering the other side of things, you can definitely compare it to Conor-Aldo fight,” Yan said during his UFC 280 media day scrum. “Sean is a UFC project and a Conor wannabe, but the result of this match-up will be different.

“You saw my fight with Aldo already.”

Yan faced Aldo for the vacant bantamweight title in 2020, stopping the future Hall of Famer in the fifth round at UFC 251. Since then, it’s been a tumultuous road for “No Mercy,” losing the title by disqualification to Aljamain Sterling, then winning an interim belt against Cory Sandhagen before losing his rematch with Sterling earlier this year.

Yan believes that a victory will put him right back in position to challenge the co-main event winner, but first he has to actually get past O’Malley. And while Yan may believe O’Malley is overhyped, “Sugar” is certainly a threatening opponent. O’Malley is a dangerous striker who starts quickly, and Yan is a notoriously slow starter. In his first three-round fight in over two years, some fans have questioned whether that will put Yan at a disadvantage coming into this bout, but the former champion says he’s prepared for that, and for the risks O’Malley poses on the feet.

“No doubt he has good striking skills and a very unorthodox style, but if we consider the mental part of things, I believe that I’m stronger,” Yan said.

“I realize it’s three rounds, it’s a different distance,” he continued. “I need to be as focused as I was before, just need to be more sharp.”

UFC 280 takes place this Saturday at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.


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Thanks for reading! See y’all tomorrow.


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