Sean O’Malley has long voiced his opinion that he is among the elite at 135-pounds and it looks as though he will get an opportunity to prove this at UFC 280.
Speaking on Wednesday on the ESPN show hosted by Daniel Cormier, O’Malley confirmed that a fight opposite former bantamweight champion Petr Yan is in the works for the UFC 280 event in Abu Dhabi on October 22. It is understood that all parties have agreed terms, but that bout agreements remain unsigned.
Yan’s manager Daniel Rubenstein confirmed to Ariel Helwani on the same day that the fight is indeed in the works for what would be Yan’s comeback fight after losing out in his bid to win the world title from Aljamain Sterling in his last contest. Yan will be chasing what will be his first win since he bested Cory Sandhagen last October in a spectacular back and forth fight.
O’Malley, meanwhile, will be taking on what is almost certainly the toughest test of his career thus far. He was most recently in action against Pedro Munhoz at UFC 276 earlier this month but the fight was declared a no-contest in the second round after Munhoz was deemed unable to continue following an accidental eye poke. O’Malley had lost the first round in two of the three judges’ opinions.
UFC 280 is expected to be headlined by a lightweight world title fight between Charles Oliveira and Islam Makhachev. It is also expected to host Sterling’s next title defence against another former champ, TJ Dillashaw.