Once-beaten bantamweight sensation Sean O’Malley upset the 135-pound apple cart by defeating former division champion Petr Yan in a three-round slugfest on the UFC 280 pay-per-view (PPV) main card last Sat. (Oct. 22) inside Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.
Watch the fight video highlights here.
Prior to their “Fight Island” showdown, promotion president Dana White told combat sports reporters the winner of O’Malley vs. Yan would get first crack at bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling, who stopped ex-titleholder TJ Dillashaw in the UFC 280 co-main event.
Watch “Funk Master” get the job done right here.
An immediate title shot may not sit well with some UFC fans considering all 26 media outlets listed on MMAdecisions.com scored the bout in favor of “No Mercy,” a far cry from the controversial scorecard (see it here) that gave the split decision to O’Malley.
White was noncommittal after the fight.
“I don’t know, you know I don’t make fights [right after the event], we’ll see what happens,” White told the media at the UFC 280 post-fight press conference (watch it here). “It was one of those razor-thin close fights. I can see people saying Yan won the fight, I can see people saying O’Malley won the fight. What’s weird is, it wasn’t the way I thought it was with the judges’ scorecards. I thought depending on who you gave the first round to determined who won the fight, but that was not the case, apparently.”
Sounds like O’Malley wants the fans to decide.
“I really wanna watch the fight back and decide after that,” O’Malley said during his post-fight interview. “I think the people would love to see me be the bantamweight champion so we’ll give the people what they want.”
Some of them may want an immediate rematch.
An argument can be made that Yan should get a do-over to secure a more definitive ending, but we just had this same conversation after his split decision loss to Sterling last April. Personally, I think it’s more important to keep the bantamweight assembly line moving.
And who wouldn’t love to see Yan vs. Dillashaw?
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