Most online sportsbooks have the 27-year-old bantamweight listed as a near 3-1 underdog a little under a month out from UFC 281, where ‘Suga’ is set to face Yan on the main card.
As a Russian master of sport in both Boxing and MMA, Yan is a notable step up in competition for O’Malley. He still whole-heartedly disagrees with where the lines currently sit, claiming it’s not a realistic measure of how the fight will play out.
“I think if you asked the smartest guys, the best fighters in the world, ‘What do you guys think?’ they’re like, ‘God, I don’t know, it’s a tough one,’” O’Malley noted to Helen Yee in a recent interview. “But if you ask the casuals, it’s like, ‘Oh, Petr is going to smoke him. He’s a 3-1 underdog or whatever.’ I’m a little surprised, but also I kind of get it from other people’s perspective. But I believe I’m better than Petr Yan, and I believe I’m going to go out there and beat his ass, so I guess I am kind of surprised.”
As far as top-level fighters go, there are few more revered than Khabib Nurmagomedov, who himself attested to O’Malley’s level of skill, according to Daniel Cormier. The young rising star appreciated his words but stated the gesture simply harkens back to his previous point.
“Like I said about the high-level fighters when they talk about me versus Petr, I think high-level fighters see I’m a legit motherfucker. I’m not just fancy and do this crazy sh*t. I have legitimate skills. So it was really cool, hearing something like that from Khabib. He’s one of the GOATs, so that was really cool.”
The AllStar MMA roundup
- UFC Vegas 61: Yan Xiaonan doesn’t care about proving Chinese doubters wrong, vows victory will be ‘for myself’
- UFC Vegas 61: Randy Costa to nullify the threats, put Gui
- UFC Vegas 61: UFC Vegas 61 is Mike Davis’ coming out party, wants four fights a year in the futuredo Cannetti’s lights out
- DWCS: Donovan Beard asked for Bo Nickal, no-sells his wrestling – ‘he can’t do that the entire fight’
- DWCS: Australia’s Jack Jenkins finally feels validated after 14 years of grinding
The best of the rest
- UFC Is Closing It’s Doors to the Public & Media for Saturday Night’s Event – Heavy.com
- Michael Chandler criticizes ‘premature praise’ for Islam Makhachev: ‘He hasn’t really fought anybody’ – MMAFighting.com
- Dagestan anti-draft protest leaders call on Khabib to support their cause – BloodyElbow.com
- Robert Whittaker wants ‘one more shot at Izzy’ after ‘running through everybody else’ in the division – BloodyElbow.com
- Jake Paul, Logan Paul betting favorites to be Nate Diaz’s next opponent – MMAFighting.com
Islam having a dig at Chandler… Or maybe it’s Ali:
Okay, this time it’s definitely Ali:
Petr Yan looking sharp ahead of UFC 280:
Israel Adesanya reigniting old flames:
Curtis ‘Razor’ Blaydes new tattoo:
T-wrecks has it in for Neo:
How life can change:
The morning view
Matt Frevola breaks down Charles vs Islam for The AllStar:
John Hyon Ko updates the Fight or Flight vlog:
The Weasle breaks down Conor McGregor’s new sparring footage:
Paddy visits Conor’s pub in Ireland:
- Brandon Moreno vs Deiveson Figueiredo in the works for UFC 283 on Jan 21st (per Rodrigo Gonzalez)
- Derrick Lewis to fight Serghei Spivac at UFC Vegas 65 on November 19th (per UFC)
- Chris Curtis to fight Joaquin Buckley at UFC 282 on December 10th (per Iridium Sports)
- Gabriel Bonfim to fight Mounir Lazzez at UFC 283 on January 21st (per Iridium Sports)
- Yamato Nishikawa replaces J. Mullarkey to fight Magomed Mustafaev at UFC 280 on October 22nd (per MMA Fight Universe)
On this day in MMA…
On the 27th of September, 2014, Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier met inside the octagon for the first time at UFC 178.
After a heated build-up to the event (the standard for Conor, really), McGregor disposed of Poirier in under two minutes – with a left hand, followed up with repeated strikes on the ground. It was a first-round knockout, just as the Irishman had predicted prior to the bout.
In a bizarre move, and despite a complete lack of grappling in the contest, coach John Kavanagh presented McGregor with his brown belt in BJJ following the victory.
The pair would go seven years before a rematch materialised in 2021, Poirier emerging the victor, with the infamous trilogy fight in which McGregor’s leg would snap taking place later that same year.