UFC bantamweight superstar ‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley has revisited his split decision victory against Petr Yan. Their closely-contested three-round matchup transpired at UFC 280 in October 2022.
Two of the three judges scored it 29-28 in favor of O’Malley, whereas one scored it 29-28 for Yan. In a video posted to his YouTube channel, O’Malley, his coach Tim Welch, and UFC fighter Drakkar Klose rewatched the O’Malley-Yan matchup.
Sean O’Malley recalled that he wasn’t nervous heading into the fight. Additionally, the fan-favorite KO artist lauded Welch for making him believe in his left hand from the southpaw stance, which helped him stun Yan in round two. O’Malley stated:
“It was so weird. I had no nerves going into this fight… It was nice there. You said, ‘When you’re southpaw, trust that left hand.’ Because I was looking for it the whole first round, just might not have been there. But you said ‘Just trust it.’ And I said, ‘F**k, I’m ripping it.'”
Moreover, Sean O’Malley and Tim Welch acknowledged that Petr Yan rocked ‘Sugar’ in the second round with a blinding jab followed by a straight/cross. ‘Sugar’ alluded to the fact that all three judges scored round two for Yan but feels that he should’ve been awarded that round rather than ‘No Mercy.’
Meanwhile, Tim Welch praised Sean O’Malley for surprising Petr Yan with his takedown attempt in round one. O’Malley insinuated that his teeps landed well on Petr Yan. He also admitted that getting rocked by Yan in round two was the hardest he’s ever been hit. O’Malley also indicated that he was active despite being in the bottom position during the fight’s latter stages. ‘Sugar’ said:
“That’s the hardest I’ve ever been hit in my life.” Thanking Welch for advising him to throw the right-hand feint-to-knee combination that cut Yan in round three, O’Malley continued, “Feint that right hand, throw that f**king knee up the middle. That’s what won me the fight right there.”
Watch O’Malley discuss the topic in the video below:
Is a Sean O’Malley title shot on the cards in 2023?
Earlier this week, MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin and Mike Heck reported that reigning UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling could defend his title against former two-division UFC champion Henry Cejudo at UFC 287 on April 8th. Previously, it was rumored that Sterling was dealing with a bicep injury and that Sean O’Malley could fight Cejudo for an interim title.
Regardless, ‘Sugar’ might now have to wait for Aljamain Sterling and Henry Cejudo to fight one another before he fights the winner of that showdown. Nevertheless, it’s believed that O’Malley will most likely receive his long-awaited shot at the coveted UFC bantamweight championship this year.