Sean O’Malley believes he’s the best striker in mixed martial arts as he prepares to take on Petr Yan.
Ever since making his debut on Dana White’s Contender Series, Sean O’Malley has been on a slow but steady rise up through the ranks of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He’s had his fair share of setbacks along the way but at this point in his career, it certainly feels as if he’s ready for a big step up in competition.
At UFC 280 later this year, that’s exactly what he’ll get as he prepares to lock horns with former UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan.
The two rivals had previously been going back and forth at one another over social media and now, ‘Suga’ and ‘No Mercy’ have a golden opportunity in front of them to make a statement to the rest of the 135-pound division.
Yan is considered by many to be the favourite but as per O’Malley himself, he fancies his chances in what he expects to be a kickboxing war.
“I really don’t think it’s going to be that much wrestling defence [against Yan]. I thought in the Pedro [Munhoz] fight, I thought maybe he would try to wrestle a little bit more, but then when I got in there he realised he was about 16 feet away from me and there’s no way he could’ve shot on me without getting knocked out.”
“I think this fight is gonna be a sweet kickboxing match. Petr says he’s the master of boxing, I believe I’m the best MMA striker in the UFC, so I do believe it will be a very interesting, high level kickboxing match. Petr is good in the clinch, has some good little trips and stuff, and I don’t think he’s coming to wrestle. If he does, I wouldn’t mind choking him.”
While O’Malley wants to prove that he belongs in the title picture, Petr Yan already knows that he’s championship material.
The Russian sensation beat Jose Aldo to win the strap but after losing back-to-back fights against Aljamain Sterling, he has a chip on his shoulder as he attempts to put a difficult 18 months behind him in Abu Dhabi.