Sean O’Malley speaks with DC about entering unfamiliar territory as the underdog in his UFC 280 match against Petr Yan.
Yan enters this match after falling to Aljamain Sterling in a close decision. Prior to hitting Sterling with an illegal knee that cost him his championship, his match with the champion was going much more smoothly. Yan is still the -500 favorite going into the fight with O’Malley despite having knockout victories over legendary fighters like Jose Aldo and Uriah Faber.
O’Malley, who recently had Khabib Nurmagomedov’s support, is currently at odds of about +375. He has never fared worse than -300 in his whole career, so he is motivated to prove that his first assessment was accurate.
Sean O’Malley on UFC 280 showdown
“To the casual, to the dummy, the odds seem about right. But to an expert, a high-level fighter, someone with a high-level IQ, I think the odds would be a lot closer… A lot of people do think I’m gonna lose this fight… I’m the favorite in my mind. But it is fun. I don’t think I’ve ever been the underdog.”
“It is different. There’s a little bit of extra fire under me. I wouldn’t say I prefer being the underdog because, at the end of the day, I don’t really care, but it is different, and a little boost.”