UFC 280: Sean O’Malley vs Petr Yan Picks, Predictions, Odds

Petr Yan vs Sean O’Malley
October 22, 2022 3:00 pm EDT
The Line: Sean O’Malley +220 / Petr Yan -260
(Click here for latest betting odds)

Petr Yan and Sean O’Malley fight Saturday in UFC 280 at the Etihad Arena. Yan enters this fight with a 16-3 record and has won 50 percent of his fights by decision. O’Malley enters this fight with a 15-1 record and has won 73 percent of his fights by knockout.

Yan has won 11 of his last 13 fights and is coming off an April loss to Aljamain Sterling. Yan is averaging 5.45 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 53 percent. Yan is averaging 1.48 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 61 percent. Yan is coming off a decision loss at UFC 273 where he landed 139 total strikes and 61 percent of his significant strikes. Yan has now lost 2 of his last 3 bouts, and 2 of his 3 career losses have come by decision. Yan is your typical tough Russian who has a strong chin and is willing to trade strikes, as he walks down the majority of his opponents. Yan grew up fighting in the streets and comes from a deep boxing background that he picked up from his brother. That’s been Yan’s fighting style throughout his career, as he keeps his hands up, comes forward and follows up his jab with a strong right hand. Yan also has a dangerous elbow that he likes to throw in the clinch, and he’ll mix in a leg kick once in a while. Yan has arguably the best standup in the sport, and he has 7 career knockouts. This will be Yan’s third career fight in the United Arab Emirates.

O’Malley’s has won 5 of his last 7 fights and is coming off a July no contest against Pedro Munhoz. O’Malley is averaging 7.75 significant strikes per minute, with an accuracy percentage of 62 percent. O’Malley is averaging 0.54 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 50 percent. O’Malley is coming off a no contest at UFC 276 where the bout was called off in the second round due to an accidental eye poke. O’Malley will take his third fight since December of last year. Sugar is a lengthy athlete with a kickboxing background and is an unpredictable highlight reel. O’Malley will throw anything at any moment, and he has some of the cleanest boxing in the sport. With his creativity, length and power, few are going to be able to stand up with O’Malley in this division. A brown belt in BJJ, O’Malley also has a deep background in grappling, so he’s far from this standup striker who is only comfortable landing bombs. At nearly 28 years old, O’Malley is becoming one of the biggest names in the sport, and a victory here puts him in a new light. This will be O’Malley’s first career fight in the United Arab Emirates. 

This is a fight pick for me to predict because I’m huge fans of both fighters and their styles. Somebody who fell in love with boxing before MMA, I hold a special place for fighters from boxing backgrounds and who have such clean technique on the feet. It doesn’t get much better than these two guys. Yan is the more polished, has the tougher chin, and he’s the more trustworthy pick. O’Malley can be a bit wild at times, and a lack of patience could be his downfall. However, I can’t leave plus money on the table here. O’Malley is a legit striker who will have his chances in this fight, and he has a 5-inch reach advantage as well. Like another fight on this card, this is a case of me backing whoever was going to be in the underdog role.

Give me O’Malley.

Randy Chambers's Free Pick:
Sean O’Malley +220
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