Sean O’Malley takes a major step forward in his next fight, announcing to ESPN’s Ryan Clark on Wednesday that he will face former bantamweight champion Petr Yan at UFC 280 on October 22 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. .
O’Malley (15-1 1 NC), one of the sport’s most talented prospects, fought to a no contest at UFC 276 against Pedro Munhoz following a medical timeout due to a glance, eventually confirmed as a corneal abrasion. The 27-year-old fights out of Glendale, Arizona and is 7-1 with an NC in the UFC.
“I get the fight I wanted and the fight people want,” O’Malley told Clark. “In my eyes, Petr is the No. 1 contender right now. He’s about 1-1 against Aljo (Aljamain Sterling)…he could be considered the champion….Going in there and going against a guy like Petr is exciting, motivating and the biggest fight in the bantamweight division right now.”
Yan (16-3, 8-2 UFC), 29, lost to Sterling at UFC 273 in April in a rematch for the bantamweight title. His boxing is among the best in the sport and will be a test for O’Malley, who has not faced a striker of his caliber to date.
Yan is ranked No. 2 at bantamweight by ESPN. O’Malley is unranked.
A lightweight title showdown between Charles Oliveira (33-8) and Islam Makhachev (22-1) will headline the Oct. 22 card.