Bantamweight Sean O’Malley takes on the toughest opponent of his career at UFC 280 when he faces former champion and No. 1-ranked contender Petr Yan.
The fight with Yan is a major step up in competition for the No. 12-ranked O’Malley, but O’Malley’s coach believes ‘Sugar’ could make the former champ ‘look stupid.’
“We train with a super elite people. We train with very good strikers too. And all the people that he spars that are that size, he makes ’em look stupid. And Petr’s probably a little bit on another level than a lot of them, and he’s gonna be really tough. But, a big cage and the size difference and the speed difference and the accuracy of Sean and how good he is at punching at range, I think it’s gonna be, the closer we get, I feel like Sean could make Petr look stupid,” O’Malley’s coach, Tim Welch, told Submission Radio.
Welch is expecting O’Malley to have a big moment at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. The closer it gets to fight day, and the more Welch thinks about the matchup, he believes O’Malley could score a knockout win.
“When I really think about it and I really think of the size difference and I really think of how Petr really lunges in on his punches, and I feel like he’s gonna get king of frustrated and really have to take a risk, and I think Sean might KO him,” Welch said.
With a win, O’Malley could leapfrog over most of the Top 10 and will immediately move into contender status. Welch believes O’Malley is going to put on a performance that will change the way people look at O’Malley.
“The narrative is gonna change big time. Especially with fighters in the UFC. They’re gonna see Sean and his durability and how actually skilled he is, and they’re gonna be like, ‘holy f**k,'” Welch said.
“The Chito thing, yeah, it happens. That literally could happen to anyone. I think it’s gonna surprise a lot of people after this fight. And I think the whole narrative’s gonna change with Sean. Is he durable? Is he tough with these elite guys? They’re gonna be like, holy f**k!”
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