Yan (16-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) takes on fan favorite O’Malley (15-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) on Saturday’s UFC 280 main card at Etihad Arena. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ESPNews and ESPN+.
UFC president Dana White said O’Malley could have a breakout moment with a win over Yan, just like Conor McGregor did when he dethroned Jose Aldo with a 13-second knockout to win the featherweight title in 2015. But Yan said he will ensure that he spoils the party.
“Considering the other side of things, you can definitely compare it to Conor-Aldo fight,” Yan told MMA Junkie and other reporters at Wednesday’s UFC 280 media day. “Sean is a UFC project and Conor wannabe, but the result of this matchup will be different. You saw my fight with Aldo already.”
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Yan is notorious for being a slow starter and taking time to figure out his opponents, but he knows he’ll have to be wary of the fact that he only has 15 minutes to work in this fight.
“I realize it’s three rounds, it’s a different distance,” Yan said. “I need to be as focused as I was before, just need to be more sharp.”
He continued, “No doubt he has good striking skills and a very unorthodox style, but if we consider the mental part of things, I believe that I’m stronger.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 280.
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