UFC president Dana White might not think Sean O’Malley is ready for a title shot, but ‘Suga’ believes it’s only a matter of time before he dethrones Petr Yan to become champ.
Yan might only possess the interim bantamweight title at the moment, but O’Malley considers ‘No Mercy’ the best fighter at 135-pounds.
The 27-year-old believes both he and Yan are on a collision course with destiny and warned the Russian that he is a ‘different animal’ compared to the Jose Aldos and Corey Sandhagens of the world.
“I want to fight Petr Yan. I know he’s the champ and you have to beat certain people to get that fight, but that’s a fight I want eventually,” O’Malley told ESPN ahead of his upcoming fight against Raulian Paiva at UFC 269. “Even if he’s not the champ, that’s a fight I want. I think he’s one of the best pound-for-pound, top-three fighters in the world. I love his style, his boxing, the way he switches stances, covers up, his defense. He’s just so good. Every time he gets in there, it’s impressive. I like his humor, too. Obviously there’s a language barrier, but I enjoy his comedy on Twitter. He calls me a poodle. I find him very funny.”
“I can compete with Petr,” he added. “He has more high-level experience with guys – (Jose) Aldo, Cory (Sandhagen), Urijah (Faber). … But I think I’m just a different animal.”
O’Malley will need a win against Paiva on Saturday as well as a serious step-up in competition before he’s ready to take on Yan. UFC 269, which features Paiva vs. O’Malley on the main card, takes place on Dec. 11 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.