Morning Report: Sean O’Malley ‘surprised’ to be big betting underdog against Petr Yan: ‘ I’m a legit motherf*****’


Sean O’Malley thinks the bookmakers are getting it wrong.

O’Malley fights former bantamweight champion Petr Yan in the featured main card bout at UFC 280. It’s the biggest opportunity of the young star’s career but, at least according to the numbers, it’s also the biggest challenge, as oddsmakers have installed O’Malley as a +310 underdog (implying a 24.4 percent win probability), something “Suga” was not expecting.

“I think if you asked the smartest guys, the best fighters in the world, ‘What do you guys think?’ They’re like, ‘God, I don’t know. It’s a tough one!’ But if you ask the casuals it’s like, ‘Oh, Petr is going to smoke him. He’s a 3-1 underdog or whatever,’” O’Malley told Helen Yee. “I’m a little surprised but also I kind of get it from other people’s perspective. But I believe I’m better than Petr Yan and I believe I’m going to go out there and beat his ass, so I guess I am kind of surprised.”

O’Malley may not be entirely wrong about that. Earlier this year, Daniel Cormier revealed that he and fellow UFC Hall of Famer Khabib Nurmagomedov discussed O’Malley and lauded the skills and abilities of “Suga,” which O’Malley says just proves his point.

“Like I said about the high-level fighters when they talk about me vs. Petr, I think high-level fighters see that I’m a legit motherf*****,” O’Malley said. “I’m not just fancy and do this crazy s***. I have legitimate skills. So it was really cool. Hearing something like that from Khabib, he’s one of the GOATs, so it was really cool.”

If O’Malley is able to prove the doubters wrong against Yan, it will open up a whole new level of superstardom. Currently the second-ranked bantamweight in the world behind only the champion, a win would almost certainly guarantee O’Malley a shot at the winner of the Aljamain Sterling vs. T.J. Dillashaw title fight also taking place at UFC 280. And so, when Oct. 22 finally arrives, O’Malley believes we will see his best performance ever.

“I wish this fight was in two weeks, I wish I was in Abu Dhabi right now, I wish it was fight week! I wish I was fighting in five days,” O’Malley said. “I’m so excited for this opportunity. I believe Petr will bring the best out of me. I thought Pedro Munhoz was going to. People talk about that fight, was blah, blah, blah. He didn’t hit me once. It wasn’t going his way, let’s just say that. But I do think Petr will bring the best out of me and it’s going to be an exciting fight.”


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Shayilan Nuerdanbieke (37-10) vs. Darrick Minner (26-13); UFC Fight Night, Nov. 5.

Derrick Lewis (26-10) vs. Serghei Spivac (15-3); UFC Fight Night, Nov. 19.

Chris Curtis (29-9) vs. Joaquin Buckley (15-5); UFC 282, Dec. 10.

Jeff Molina (11-2) vs. Jimmy Flick (16-5); UFC Fight Night, Jan. 14.


Thanks for reading! See y’all tomorrow.


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