UFC bantamweight contender, Adrian Yanez has given his thoughts on the recent surge of polarizing striker, Sean O’Malley — claiming that the Montana native has enjoyed almost flawless success recently, by way of picking quite comfortable fights for himself stylistically.

Yanez, akin to O’Malley, is a product of Dana White‘s Contender Series — debuting in the organization back in October of last year scoring a stunning high kick knockout victory over Victor Rodriguez. 

The Texan has managed to lodge three straight knockout wins during his year UFC tenure, earning Performance of the Night bonuses in each of his Octagon walks. Most recently, the 27-year-old met with fellow fan favorite, Randy Costa at UFC Vegas 32 in July, rallying to lodge a second round knockout success.

Yanez, a staple of Metro Fight Club, is slated to make his fourth Octagon appearance in November at UFC Fight Night 198 — taking on Davey Grant, with the pair hoping to crack the bantamweight top-15 with a victory.

Speaking with LowKick MMA reporter, Jordan Ellis ahead of his matchup with Grant, Yanez touched on the rise of the above-mentioned, O’Malley — pointing out how the striker has managed to make a steady ascension toward the rankings, by more or less “cherry-picking” his opponents.


See, what I think Sean O’Malley is doing is smart, but at the same time, he’s picked all of the right fights for the right time for him,” Adrian Yanez said. “But also those guys — he has some really super favorable fights. Like, I’m not like, looking for the guy who’s coming off the couch in like four years in Eddie Wineland just so I can knock him out in his first comeback fight. And then get another guy who was already on a losing streak in Thomas Almeida, who’s already been away from the fight game for a couple years, comes back and gets knocked out by Sean O’Malley.

No disrespect to (Louis) Smolka but stylistically, I don’t think that was a good fight for Smolka, ’cause I definitely think O’Malley was gonna be able to — like, those type of fights to me, were super favorable. He was probably like a -500 (favorite) for a lot of those fights, like I don’t want any of those fights.

Approaching his fourth contest under the UFC’s banner, Yanez has stressed that he does not want to find himself sharing the Octagon with the same type of fighter O’Malley has. 

I definitely wanna fight and I definitely wanna have those tough opponents,” Adrian Yanez explained. “I don’t want the easy route of having those fights being picked, those — to me those are cherry-picked fights for Sean, but at the same time, he’s being smart in his business decision. He’s doing it ’cause he wants the most money. … It’s smart, but if you’re an absolute fight fan, you don’t like it, you don’t respect it. Like, if you’re a fighter’s fighter, you don’t care (about opponents).

For O’Malley, the striker is on the cusp of bantamweight rankings as well, and is currently booked to feature at UFC 269 on December 11. — taking on the #15 ranked contender, Raulian Paiva.

In regards to Yanez’s comments, O’Malley hit the headlines last month, detailing how when it comes to fighting contenders, he receives the exact same money based on his current contract for fighting an unranked opponent, as he would if he contended against the #1 ranked former champion, Petr Yan.

Do you agree with Adrian Yanez? Is Sean O’Malley cherry-picking his opponents?