Sean O’Malley’s coach, Tim Welch knows that it takes opponents a long time to figure out his pupal in the cage.
UFC rising bantamweight Sean O’Malley is getting ready to step into the biggest fight of his career. He will be taking on former champion Petr Yan on the main card of the UFC 280 pay-per-view event. Much has been said about O’Malley over the course of his career, many times he has been criticized for not fighting tough opposition and not facing ranked fighters. That can no longer be said as he is about to face off with the number one-ranked man in the division.
O’Malley is one of the biggest stars in the UFC. He is well known and a fan favorite with an interesting style both inside the cage and out. His longtime coach Tim Welch knows that O’Malley’s style is so unique that many fighters have trouble figuring it out. He feels the same can be said for Yan. The fight will be on the main card of UFC 280, but will only be three rounds. Welch thinks this is beneficial to O’Malley and that three rounds, lasting five minutes, is not enough time for Yan to break through and figure out his trainee. He spoke to MiddleEasy about this and more in an exclusive interview.
“Petr is a terminator. He finishes all these people in the later rounds. He always turns it on in the later rounds. He tries to get reads on people and trying to get a read on Sean in 15 minutes is really hard,” Welch said. “We’ve had high-level sparring partners from the UFC, from all over, try to spar Sean and they sparred him for a long time and they still have trouble figuring him out. So having Petr try to figure him out in 15 minutes is going to be a real problem.”
Welch says there was never talk of making this bout between Sean O’Malley and Petr Yan five rounds
Each of Yan’s last four fights were five-rounders. He went to the fifth round in three of them, the only one to finish in the fourth was the DQ loss to Aljamain Sterling. Since coming to the UFC he has only ever finished a fight in the first two rounds twice. As for O’Malley, he has only gone to a decision three times in his entire career. With this being the case, it could have been a thought by Yan’s team to lobby for a five-round fight. Welch explains that this was never a consideration of theirs.
“No, there was no talk of it being five rounds because they knew they wanted it on the Islam and Charles matchup so that, of course, is going to be the main event,” he explained. “So three rounds.”
Although not officially mentioned, many believe that the winner of this fight could be next for the winner of the title fight between Sterling and TJ Dillashaw. Welch explains that they will be ready for that call no matter who it is they are facing next.