Sean O’Malley will take on Petr Yan at UFC 280 in what is shaping up to be the biggest fight of his career to date. Although O’Malley enters as a massive underdog, he doesn’t believe that Yan’s strategy will work against him.
Speaking with Nick Peet of BT Sport, Sean O’Malley was asked about Petr Yan’s strategy of starting slow as he figures out his opponent and then unleashes bombs.
O’Malley stated that Yan will deviate from his usual course of action:
“I think it’s going to be a 15 minute sprint. I think he’s going to come out there, try to prove a point that I don’t belong in there with him and he’s gonna go pedal to the metal and try to get me out of there and I feel the same way. I feel like he’s gonna have a very, very tough time ‘downloading data’ on me.”
“I just don’t think he’s gonna be able to figure me out if that’s his plan – to go in there and try to figure me out in the first round and then win the second and third. I’d be very, very surprised and impressed if he could do that.”
Yan has not fought a three-round fight since UFC 245 nearly three years ago. While fighters in a five-round fight have the luxury of bouncing back from a tough first round, that task is much more difficult when the fight is only three rounds. Yan would have to be close to perfect in the final two rounds if he decides to coast in the opening one.
Watch Sean O’Malley discuss Petr Yan’s strategy below (starting at 6:54):
Alexander Volkanovski warns Petr Yan not to start slow against Sean O’Malley
Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski recently previewed the UFC 280 matchup between Sean O’Malley and Petr Yan. While the pound-for-pound king predicted a victory for Yan, he shared that the No.1-ranked bantamweight should not give up precious rounds in trying to figure ‘Sugar’ out:
“I really don’t think he needs to even really feel out fighters, that’s how good Petr Yan is, but we’ve seen that he likes to feel them out. I think that would be a bad idea to do this with Sean O’Malley. Don’t give him room, don’t just walk forward because he will try to fight on the back foot.”
Volkanovski added that he believes Yan should come out aggressive. With a bantamweight title opportunity on the line, it will be interesting to see if Yan changes his usual strategy of making a slow start in his fights.
Watch Alexander Volkanovski discuss Petr Yan’s strategy below (starting at the 2:13 mark):