Abu Dhabi, UAE – Former UFC bantamweight champion Petr Yan looks to work his way back up the ladder as he takes on Sean O’Malley at UFC 280 on Saturday night.
“I think it’s an interesting matchup. I can’t wait for this fight,” Yan said to the media through a translator on Wednesday.
Yan (16-3) is coming off fighting for the title against fellow UFC 280 participant Aljamain Sterling. Yan lost the bout via split decision at UFC 273. The matchup with O’Malley came as a surprise to many given that Yan was the champion not too long ago.
“Considering all the top 5 guys were busy and have a fight scheduled we had a desire to fight Sean. The UFC liked this idea and the fight was made,” Yan said.
O’Malley had mentioned earlier in the day that he was looking to keep the fight standing and would be looking for the knockout against Yan.
“No doubt he has good striking skills. Very unorthodox styles, but if we consider the mental part of things I believe I’m stronger,” said Yan.
UFC president Dana White had compared Yan vs. O’Malley to when Conor McGregor defeated Jose Aldo for the featherweight title.
“You can definitely compare it to Conor-Aldo fight. Sean is a UFC project and Conor wannabe, but result of this matchup will be different. You saw my fight with Aldo already, so,” he said.
White also mentioned that the winner of Yan vs. O’Malley would fight for the title next.
“That’s what we’re expecting. Because there’s no one ranked higher than me,” Yan said.
“There’s no one deserving title shot than me.”
Watch the entire media day scrum with Petr Yan above. Yan takes on Sean O’Malley on the main card of UFC 280 on Saturday October 22nd.