Sean O’Malley is getting a step up in competition.

The ‘Suga Show’ announced Wednesday on ESPN that he is fighting Petr Yan at UFC 280, the upcoming pay-per-view event scheduled for Oct. 22 in Abu Dhabi. Shortly after the announcement, Daniel Rubenstein — manager of Yan — revealed on The MMA Hour that the fight was only verbally agreed upon for now.

Should the fight get confirmed, O’Malley would return for his second UFC appearance in 2022. The 27-year-old recently fought to a No Contest against Pedro Munhoz, who was on the receiving end of an accidental eye poke at UFC 276 this past July. O’Malley was previously on a three-fight win streak that saw finishes of Thomas Almeida, Kris Moutinho and Raulian Paiva.

Yan has not fought since losing a split decision in a championship rematch against Aljamain Sterling at UFC 273 in April. ‘No Mercy’ won the then-vacant championship with a fifth-round TKO of José Aldo at UFC 251, but lost it to the ‘Funk Master’ by disqualification at UFC 259. The Russian has only lost to Sterling in his UFC tenure.

O’Malley also predicted his fight against Yan, whom he expects to defeat soundly.

“I believe I’m better than Petr at what we’re going to do and that’s f—king fighting,” said O’Malley on DC & RC. “I’m better than Petr and I truly believe that’s what’s going to get the job done. I’m going to go in there more prepared than Petr. I’m going to go in there and just do what I do. Obviously, putting Petr’s lights out would be massive, but I just need to go in there and get the job done against Petr Yan in three, five-minute rounds.

“This is the best dude I’ve ever fought, hands down,” continued O’Malley. “And I’m very excited for the opportunity and I just believe I’m going to be better Oct. 22.”

UFC 280 is headlined by Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev for the vacant lightweight championship.


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