Sean O’Malley is officially the top contender in Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) Bantamweight division. Unfortunately for “Suga,” his biggest career victory didn’t come without some controversy.
The popular Contender Series alum, O’Malley, defeated the former titleholder, Petr Yan, in a hard-fought battle via split decision (watch highlights) at UFC 280 this past weekend (Oct. 22, 2022) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. O’Malley went from being the No. 10-ranked contender in the division to No. 1, taking “No Mercy’s” spot.
Despite his impressive efforts regardless of the decision, the majority of the community believes Yan should have been the rightful victor. Had that been the case, O’Malley feels he’d be getting much more praise rather than the robbery claims he’s since received.
“Woke up this morning, ranked No. 1 in the world! S—t ain’t photoshopped,” O’Malley said on his YouTube channel (h/t MMA Fighting). “It does feel good. It’s crazy. If I would have lost that fight, people would put a lot more respect on my name. ‘Damn, he lost but that motherf—ker’s good.’ Now it’s like, ‘He won?! He won?! You’ve got to be s—ting me!’ But the people that are made that I won are the one’s that said I was supposed to get whooped. Like, ‘Sean’s lucky it’s not five rounds.’ Well, my best round was my third round...
“Round one I thought was a close round,” he continued. “I definitely did more damage. He got a couple takedowns, didn’t really do anything with the takedowns. If you want to talk about getting takedowns, I got a takedown at the end of the round. That was two points, hit his knees, I took him down. So if you guys want to talk about takedowns, why is nobody talking about my takedown? I didn’t do s—t with it but he didn’t do s—t with his either, really. I definitely did more damage ... Round one, I definitely can see how people gave me the round. Close round, for sure.
“Round two was even pretty close,” he concluded. “I cracked him, he cracked me back. I can see how you’d give him the round, for sure though ... And then round three was definitely my best round. For sure did way more damage round three.”
While O’Malley does feel he deserved to get the win, he still feels it was a close and competitive outing. The 28-year-old has now presumably lined himself up for his first career title shot against the current champion, Aljamain Sterling, but fans and UFC President, Dana White, are seemingly on the fence after how his hand was raised.
“You wanted me to lose in the first place,” O’Malley said. “A robbery? How is it [a robbery]? Third round, I won, second round, he won, first round was close as f—k and I did more damage. It’s not really a robbery, it was a close fight. A really, really close fight ... If that was Cory [Sandhagen] versus Petr or anyone else versus Petr and they got the nod, I wonder how much the narrative would change. Like, ‘Yeah, I could see that.’ But since it’s me and people f—king hate me because I’m 6’6”, 220, pure chocolate, and ranked No. 1 Bantamweight in the f—king world, b—ch!”
For complete UFC 280 results and coverage click here.