UFC bantamweight contender, Sean O’Malley is slated to make his third Octagon walk of the year later this month as part of the UFC 269 card — and has inserted himself into the conversation as the best striker in the UFC, alongside reigning middleweight kingpin, Israel Adesanya, and interim bantamweight titleholder, Petr Yan.
Returning to the winner’s enclosure back in March at UFC 260 following his first career loss to Marlon Vera in August of last year, O’Malley turned in a one-sided striking display en route to a third round, highlight-reel ground strike knockout win over Thomas Almeida.
In July as part of the high-profile UFC 264 card, O’Malley secured his second straight win of the year, stopping promotional newcomer, Kris Moutinho with an eventual third round knockout after setting multiple striking records for the division.
Off the back of the victory, O’Malley, who is yet to re-enter the bantamweight top-15, has drawn talented Brazilian contender, Raulian Paiva — who is undefeated in his last three straight Octagon walks.
Sean O’Malley believes he, Israel Adesanya, and Petr Yan are the current best strikers in the UFC
Attempting to earn his fifteen professional victory against the 26-year-old in 10 days’ time, O’Malley recently spoke with The Schmo where he listed the aforenoted, Adesanya and Yan as the best strikers in the UFC alongside himself right now.
“Starting five? You gotta go with Izzy (Israel Adesanya),” Sean O’Malley replied. “You have to go with Izzy right now. Petr (Yan) — just ’cause I think he’s funny. I think Petr’s a funny, little Russian dude I really do. Me, Petr, Izzy — we’re just talking strikers here, yeah?“
“I should really watch the UFC more, I’m coming to a blank right now,” Sean O’Malley said. “Kyler — my buddy, Kyler, my buddy, Mario — gotta go with the buddies, you know what I’m saying. They’re my main training partners. There we go.“
With a combined 32 separate knockout wins between the trio of O’Malley, Adesanya, and Yan — the three most certainly represent three of the most technical strikers on the promotion’s books at the time of publication.
Adesanya is still yet to solidify his middleweight title rematch with former titleholder, Robert Whittaker, however, the pair are expected to headline a UFC 271 event in February.
As for Yan, the Dudinka striking ace clinched the interim bantamweight crown at UFC 267 in October, taking home a unanimous decision win over Cory Sandhagen to set up a title unification re-run with arch-rival, Aljamain Sterling next year.