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Combat Sports
5 min read

Petr Yan Expected to Face ‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley at UFC 280

In a shocking turn of events following his no-contest bout against No. 9 ranked Pedro Munhoz at UFC 276, the ‘Sugar Show’ Sean O’Malley will continue his “undefeated” UFC run against No. 1 ranked contender and former two-time Bantamweight Champion, ‘No Mercy’ Petr Yan. The news was first reported by O’Malley during his appearance on DC & RC.

Despite being down on the scorecards, Sean O’Malley was visibly shocked when told he had lost the round, arguing that checked leg kicks hurt the attacker just as much, if not more, than the target, a sentiment that was echoed by Chael Sonnen among others.

No Mercy for the ‘Sugar Show’ as Sean O’Malley Faces His Toughest Test

Initial reactions seem to consider this a mismatch, with O’Malley seemingly leapfrogging the entire division. Upon deeper contemplation, the bout makes sense. ‘No Mercy’ Petr Yan is 2-2 in his last four, the two losses to Aljamain Sterling being controversial, though for entirely different reasons. The first DQ all the way back at UFC 259 will remain etched in all our memories for eternity, while the second split decision this March at UFC 263 split the fan base in an argument over the definition of effective grappling.

However, his interim title bout with Cory Sandhagen was also far from a clean-cut decision. Beyond that, the only other truly elite win on Yan’s record was against former champion Jose Aldo, who has remained undefeated since.

Taking a look at the lineup for the rest of the division, it is clear to see that there’s an argument to be made that Yan shouldn’t be ranked so high, and that following O’Malley (and Sonnen’s) logic, O’Malley should be higher.

  • Aljamain Sterling (C) vs. TJ Dillashaw (#2)
  • José Aldo (#3) vs. Merab Dvalsivili (#6)
  • Cory Sandhagen (#4) vs. Song Yadong (#10)
  • Marlon Vera (#5) vs. Dominick Cruz (#8)

This leaves the only three fighters ranked above O’Malley (#13) that are not fresh off a bout: Frankie Edgar, Pedro Munhoz, and Petr Yan. With Edgar asking for a retirement bout at Madison Square Garden in November, it looks likely that he and Munhoz will square off, leaving ‘No Mercy’ as the newest gues to the ‘Sugar Show.’

Featured image credit to Embed from Getty Images

Featured image credit to Embed from Getty Images

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