Sean O’Malley edges out Petr Yan by split decision in action-packed brawl

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Sean O’Malley raised his hand after a close battle with Petr Yan at UFC 280 on Saturday at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

There were plenty of complaints when Sean O’Malley, who was then ranked 12th at bantamweight, had a fight against No. 1-ranked Petr Yan on the main card of UFC 280 at the Etihad Arena. in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Emirates.

There should be no more complaints.

The man known as “The Suga Show” made a brave, brave and bloody split decision on Yan, the former champion of a Fight of the Night-style battle. The judges had it 29-28 for O’Malley and 29-28 for Yan.

O’Malley did the most damage with his strike and opened up Yan in the wild back-and-forth third with a knee. Yan landed several good strikes and got injured and dropped O’Malley in the second round. O’Malley had dropped him earlier in this streak.

O’Malley struggled to stay on his feet, but when he was on his feet he did just enough to take the win. He knew it was a defining victory for his career.

“It’s the craziest fucking sport in the world,” O’Malley said. “I had to go somewhere I had never been before.”

Yan was scoring early with body kicks and that set up his struggle. He downed O’Malley several times, including in the final seconds of an extraordinarily close third.

But O’Malley conceded that although he was surprised by the struggle, he felt Yan’s power.

“I got hurt more than ever considering I’m usually untouched,” O’Malley said. “I was definitely shaken.”

UFC President Dana White said before the fight that the winner will meet the winner of the title fight in the co-main event between Aljamain Sterling and TJ Dillashaw.

When asked if he wanted to, O’Malley initially said he would have to re-watch the fight. But then he reconsidered.

“I mean, I think people would love to see me be the bantamweight champion of the world,” he said. “So we’ll give people what they want.”

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