Sean O’Malley believes win over Petr Yan at UFC 280 moves him close to ‘Conor McGregor level’ fame

Sean O'Malley

UFC bantamweight contender, Sean O’Malley believes fans of mixed martial arts want to see another fight on the level of former two-weight champion, Conor McGregor emerge sooner or later. And for him, a victory over former champion, Petr Yan at UFC 280 in two weeks’ time, moves him closer to that level of fame and acclaim.

O’Malley, the current #12 ranked contender, is scheduled to feature in a high-profile main card slot at UFC 280 later this month on ‘Fight Island’ – drawing former undisputed champion, Yan – in what could come as a potential title-eliminator at 135lbs.

Last featuring at UFC 276 during International Fight Week in July, O’Malley fought to an eventual second round official ‘No Contest’ against Brazilian veteran, Pedro Munhoz, after an unintentional eye poke left Munhoz unable to continue.

As for Yan, the Dudinka fan-favorite last scored a victory in Abu Dhabi, UAE against Cory Sandhagen in October of last year to land the interim title on ‘Fight Island’ – before dropping a second career loss to event co-headliner, Aljamain Sterling in April, in a title unification outing.

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Sean O’Malley believes UFC fans are awaiting the emergence of another superstar

For the polarizing division striker, O’Malley, he believes critics of his and apparent haters, actually want him to defeat Yan at UFC 280 – which he believes would further propel him toward the level of acclaim and megastardom as the above-mentioned, McGregor.

“Usually I’d say people are hoping I don’t win, but to be honest, I would say the majority of people that think I won’t win, actually want me to win,” Sean O’Malley said during an interview on DC & RC on ESPN. “People want a superstar. There’s really no one in the UFC right now that is that Conor (McGregor) level. Me, I go out there and beat Petr (Yan) in spectacular fashion, I’m climbing.”

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“I’m not going to be there yet and I know that, but I’m climbing to become that guy,” Sean O’Malley explained. “I want to be ‘the’ Conor, I don’t want it to be competitive to where it’s like, ‘You’re up there with this.’ I want to be that guy.”

“And I think the UFC fans want that,” Sean O’Malley explained. “They want somebody that they can get super, super excited about, so most people think I’m going to lose but I think the majority of people want me to go out there and win, which is rare, I don’t usually think that, but I do think in this case that’s what it is.” 

Last scoring a victory at UFC 269 in December of last year, O’Malley earned his spot in the official bantamweight top-15 off the back of a one-sided first round knockout win over Raulian Paiva.