At UFC 280, Sean O’Malley defeated Petr Yan by way of a split decision for the greatest victory of his career. However, many of his rivals don’t appear to agree that he merits the victory.
The three-round match featured the top bantamweights in an exciting contest. O’Malley and Yan lived up to the anticipation in a bout that included jaw-dropping exchanges on the feet as well as a number of great takedowns.
But in the end, O’Malley was given a split decision by two of the three judges. Ben Cartlidge and David Lethaby gave O’Malley a 29-28 victory, while Vito Paolillo gave Yan a 29-28 victory.
According to statistics, Yan was the more active combatant. The Russian had a landing percentage of 60% for his big blows, compared to 51% for O’Malley.
But in terms of volume, O’Malley was obviously in the lead. Yan had 58 major strikes to O’Malley’s 84.
But Yan landed staggering 6 takedowns and controlled the bout for 6 minutes while O’Malley had none.
Jorge Masvidal disapproved of the judges’ decision. He was horrified by the outcomes and said that the Abu Dhabi judges “are f***ing up careers.”
Darren Till, Dan Hardy, and Michael Chiesa agree and have the same opinion on their disagreement with the results. Chiesa went so far as to describe how heartbreaking it is to lose in a contentious way.
After Sean O’Malley won against Petr Yan, Michael Chiesa tweeted, “The judges are only there to break your heart and when you’re in a fight that’s evenly matched, it’s in inevitable you have to deal with them,”
Dominick Reyes, a former contender for the light heavyweight championship, believes O’Malley is receiving special treatment from the UFC. He tweeted: “Wow talk about UFC privilege this is getting outta hand.”
Meanwhile, Aleksandar Rakic sympathised with Yan: “I feel sorry for @PetrYanUFC this guy got robbed for the second time in a row.”
Chris Weidman, a former middleweight champion of the UFC, lauded O’Malley for his tenacity and perseverance. However, he believed Yan had won.
Chris tweeted: “Man… Suga showed toughness and had a great fight but he didn’t win that fight.”
Women’s featherweight champion Megan Anderson agreed with him: “Sean showed incredible toughness and skill but he didn’t win that fight.”
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