Petr Yan, the former undisputed bantamweight champion, and Sean O’Malley engaged in a violent altercation on stage before their highly anticipated UFC 280 matchup this weekend in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
This weekend in Abu Dhabi, Yan is scheduled to take on rising star Sean O’Malley. He will compete against O’Malley in a crucial matchup that might determine the bantamweight division’s next title contender.
O’Malley competed in the main event of UFC 276 in July. He faced off against seasoned Brazilian Pedro Munhoz and competed for two rounds before the bout was called off after he poked Munhoz in the eye and scratched his cornea.
Petr Yan and Sean O’Malley got intense during the face off. The match will take place on the main card before champion Aljamain Sterling and former two-time division champion T.J. Dillashaw face off.
In Abu Dhabi, Yan and O’Malley exchanged a fair amount of verbal barbs while speaking into a microphone. The were separated by UFC representatives and security after Yan shoved O’malley after a heated moment.
Jon Anik was spotted sweating through his shirt in the background as a Dana White stand in. White is rumored to be getting there sometime today and should be on hand for the UFC 280 card live.
Yan first won the vacant bantamweight title with a fifth-round knockout victory against former featherweight champion Jose Aldo.
Prior to his failed rematch with Sterling in October of last year, Petr Yan won the interim division title by defeating Cory Sandhagen in the United Arab Emirates by unanimous decision.
Before his bout with Munhoz in July, O’Malley had victories over Thomas Almeida, Kris Moutinho, and Raulian Paiva during his four-bout undefeated streak.
“Sean is a UFC project and Conor wannabe, but the result of this matchup will be different. ” Yan said in lead up to the bout going so far as to slam O’Malley verbally during the presser.
“It says he’s 5-(foot)-7 on the (UFC) stats, but there’s no way,” O’Malley said. “He’s 5-5. I just believe I’m a lot better everywhere.”
“It’s not about the height,” Yan said. “Just look at him. He’s like a w*ore on the side of the road.”
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