Aljamain Sterling explains why he thinks Sean O’Malley can beat Petr Yan at UFC 280: “It could be a miserable night for Yan”

By Cole Shelton - October 3, 2022

Aljamain Sterling believes Sean O’Malley could defeat Petr Yan at UFC 280.

Aljamain Sterling, Sean O'Malley, Petr Yan

O’Malley is getting his toughest test when he faces Yan and will be the betting underdog for the first time in his career, and is a sizeable one with that. With that, many expect Yan to run through O’Malley. However, for Sterling – who has beaten Yan twice and is set to defend his bantamweight title on the same card – he thinks ‘Suga’ has what it takes to defeat the Russian.

“I think it’s a good technical matchup for both guys. I mean, if you look at it on paper, obviously O’Malley’s untested the one time he had a test, he failed. And that was to ‘Chito’ Vera. Obviously, it’s a weird injury that he had with that leg kick,” Sterling said to Submission Radio about O’Malley vs. Yan. “You know, not every day someone’s gonna kick you in the leg and then you get drop foot. I mean, he’s got good footwork, he’s got good range, he’s got good movement. Then you got Petr Yan who’s super durable, super tough, as people would say, he’s downloading data. I hate when people say that. It’s the stupidest thing. If he could have punched you in the face, he would’ve punched you in the face. He just can’t. So, he’s trying to get a read on you. But they call it downloading data.

Sean O'Malley

“They make him sound like he’s this unbeatable robot. I’m like, dude, whatever. If he starts behind the eight ball like that and gives O’Malley a chance in a three-round fight, an opportunity to run up the score on him, pick his shots, it could be a miserable night for Yan,” Sterling continued about O’Malley. “But if Yan is able to touch him up, I think, go to the body, chop down on O’Malley’s legs. I’m not saying O’Malley’s legs are his weak point, because I know people tend to keep talking about that. But I do think with a tall, rangy fighter who’s gonna be hard to hit up top, how else do you get him? You attack the body. That’s gonna be a lot more stationary and you attack the legs, that’s gonna be a lot more stationary. You can’t get the legs out of the way, the same way you can get the head out of the way, you know? So, I think Yan’s gonna have to come in with a smart IQ, otherwise, he’s gonna go 0-3.”

As Aljamain Sterling notes, Sean O’Malley will have a seven-inch reach advantage so he can he can potentially use that to win the fight.

Who do you think will win, Sean O’Malley or Petr Yan?

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Aljamain Sterling Petr Yan Sean O'Malley UFC