Daniel Cormier is excited to see the next bantamweight clash between Sean O’Malley and former champion Petr Yan. O’Malley and Yan are set to square off at the upcoming UFC 280 pay-per-view on Oct. 22 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.
Yan is by far the toughest opponent of O’Malley’s career so far and fans are excited to see how he fares against a former champion and one of the most dominant fighters in the game. division. Cormier praised O’Malley for being brave and taking such a big leap in competition.
That said, ‘DC’ feels that ‘Sugar’ knows he has advantages over Yan that will factor into their next matchup. Cormier pointed out that O’Malley has a range advantage over Yan that he can use to his advantage to maintain range and ground strikes when the Russian enters the pocket.
He also pointed out that compared to the other top five fighters in the division, Yan is a better stylistic match for O’Malley. He explained that, like O’Malley, Yan is also a striker, so ‘Sugar’ is unlikely to face a withdrawal threat. He also pointed out that Yan is a slow starter and will be at a disadvantage if he starts slow in a three-round fight.
On a recent episode of ESPN MMA’s DC & RC Show, Cormier said:
“He feels he has advantages in certain areas. One, he’s longer, two, Petr Yan is a boxer. Sean O’Malley is a boxer, he’s probably thinking, ‘This is the most manageable match for me in the top five” … Another factor in this game that I wouldn’t say plays to Sean’s advantage, but it does make it a bit better for him is that it’s not five rounds. We saw Petr Yan start slow then calculate his way through the last rounds then dominate… You can’t start slow in a 15 minute fight so maybe he takes more risks… “
Watch the podcast below:
Dana White was initially skeptical about booking Sean O’Malley against Petr Yan
Dana White wasn’t initially sold on the idea of a potential match between Sean O’Malley and Petr Yan. UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby was the first to pitch the idea to White and the UFC supremo’s first reaction was to ask Shelby if he was crazy.
However, Shelby later explained to White that O’Malley wanted the fight and he was at his peak and his skills matched Yan’s well and that’s when the 52-year-old gave in and the match was made official. During a post-fight press conference after the sixth season premiere of Dana White’s Contender series, the UFC President said:
“Sean Shelby wanted this fight. I said, ‘Are you crazy? You’re not doing this fight now.’ He told me why he would and O’Malley is ready. You know, O’Malley is about to turn 28 in October, at his peak right now, hits like a truck. He ended up sell me on it. And more importantly, both guys wanted it.”