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Joe Rogan believes Petr Yan beat Sean O’Malley at UFC 280: ‘I did think he won at the end of it’

Joe Rogan thinks the judges got it wrong at UFC 280.

UFC 280: Yan v O’Malley
Petr Yan is bloodied up after his UFC 280 slugfest with Sean O’Malley.
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Joe Rogan thinks Sean O’Malley fought a great fight against Petr Yan at UFC 280 but that it shouldn’t have been enough to get him the victory.

O’Malley won a controversial split decision over Yan after a grueling three-round contest at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi last weekend. Both men got dropped and almost finished but somehow made it to the final bell, with the bout earning Fight of the Night honors and ‘Sugar’ inserting himself into title contention much to the dismay of his critics.

Despite O’Malley outlanding Yan in significant strikes 84 to 58, many fans feel the latter should have been awarded the victory due to his advantage on the ground and in takedowns. ‘No Mercy’ landed 6 out of 13 takedowns and accumulated over 5 minutes of ground control.

Rogan shares the sentiment that Yan should have won but believes the problem lies in how takedowns are scored and what value they ought to have if no damage is inflicted on the ground.

“A lot of people were shocked [at the decision],” Rogan said on a recent episode of his podcast (h/t BJPenn.com). “There’s a video of Khabib [Nurmagomedov] watching the decision and Khabib is like, ‘How, how did he win? How?’… He was certainly in the fight against Petr Yan. He was a former champion, one of the best in the division, by far the number-one contender. It was a very close fight, and he definitely hurt Petr on multiple occasions, caught him with that big knee, and rocked him.”

“The question is, how much is the takedown worth, how much is control worth?” he added. “Takedowns without damage, what is that valued? I’m not denying that I thought Petr Yan won, because I did think he won at the end of it… One of the problems is that I feel we’re very limited by this 10-9 scoring system… I don’t think it’s a good system for MMA.”

Despite the backlash, O’Malley maintains that he ‘def won’ won the fight and that the proof can be found on his MMA record (16-1-1 NC MMA, 8-1-1 NC UFC). He is currently #1 in the UFC bantamweight rankings.