As well as the fight itself, UFC bantamweight Sean O’Malley is looking forward to staring across from upcoming opponent Petr Yan during fight week.
Later this month, the MMA leader will head back to Abu Dhabi for a truly blockbuster pay-per-view event. As well as the lightweight and bantamweight titles being on the line at the top of the card, a number of intriguing matchups will take place below, one of which sees a former champion collide with one of the promotion’s fastest-rising stars.
Providing an appetiser for the championship bout in their division, #1-ranked 135-pound contender Yan will meet #13 man O’Malley inside the Octagon. The announcement of the matchup came as somewhat of a surprise earlier this year, with “Sugar” not boasting a win over a ranked opponent on his record.
With that in mind and given the sizable gap between the pair’s placements on the bantamweight ladder, “No Mercy” has appeared extremely confident and will enter the bout as the favorite.
But O’Malley is looking to show the Russian that he has a fight on his hands when they come face-to-face at the UFC 280 press conference.
O’Malley: ‘I Can’t Wait To Look Yan In The Eye’
During a recent appearance on ESPN MMA’s DC & RC show, O’Malley discussed his own self-belief heading into the biggest fight of his career, which could see him jump straight to the top of the division and into a prime position to secure a title shot.
More than just fight night, the 27-year-old Montana native is looking forward to the moment he can stare his rival in the eye pre-fight and show him that he’s not at all intimidated by the challenge in front of him on October 22.
“I’m very excited for the press conference,” O’Malley said. “I’m excited to be around Petr, because I do think that he thinks maybe he’s gonna intimidate me, or that I’m slightly scared, or that I’m even a little bit nervous for this fight.
“I can’t wait to look into his eyes and (see) him realize that not only am I ready, not only am I capable, but this is my time. October 22, 2022, Sugar Show beats Petr Yan. That’s just what’s going to happen,” O’Malley added.
As has been part and parcel with his career inside the Octagon, O’Malley hasn’t been shy about expressing his confidence. Despite gearing up to face a man who has held both undisputed and interim gold in the UFC, “Sugar” believes that he can become the first man to finish Yan.
Perhaps the road to doing so will begin with some mind games at the customary pre-PPV presser.
This story originally appeared on MMANews.com. Please provide transcription credit with a link to this article if you use any of these quotes.