Marlon Vera believes Sean O’Malley was gifted a split-decision win over Petr Yan at UFC 280 on Saturday.
UFC produced one of the most stacked lineups in promotional history at UFC 280, featuring two world title fights and multiple bouts with significant title implications. One of which was the highly-anticipated showdown between No. 1 ranked bantamweight contender Petr Yan and fan-favorite ‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley.
When it was all said and done, O’Malley saw his hand raised, earning a closely contested split decision. However, many fans and fighters were in shock, believing Yan’s takedowns and control time were more than enough to take a decisive victory. Discussing the bout on ‘The MMA Hour‘ was former Sean O’Malley opponent, Marlon Vera. In an interview with Ariel Helwani, ‘Chito’ shared his belief that O’Malley was gifted the decision he received in the UFC 280 major event.
“When the fight was over, my opinion, I got… A lot of people have it 3-0 to Yan,” Vera said. “I got 2-1 to Yan. The body language of O’Malley was, you know, a very language of like, ‘I lost the fight.’ Then when they give it to him, I thought it was a gift decision, but again, f*ck it, you know? The guy won the fight. Now he’s gonna have a number one next to his number I guess, but I believe it was a gift. I believe he got the decision gifted, but we’ll see what happens with that, you know?
“It was a close fight. Both guys hurt each other and I think everything comes down to the tag that’s on the control time. I feel it was a similar fight to my fight with Song Yadong if you ask me my personal opinion.”
Marlon Vera on Aljamain Sterling vs. TJ Dillashaw at UFC 280
In the evening’s co-main event, Aljamain Sterling successfully defended his bantamweight championship, defeating former two-time titleholder TJ Dillashaw via TKO in the second round. It was a dominant performance for ‘Funk Master’ though the reigning champion had a little bit of assistance from a lingering injury that caused Dillashaw’s shoulder to pop out not once, but twice in as many rounds.
While many fans were quick to dismiss Sterling’s latest win as circumstantial, Marlon Vera takes nothing away from Aljamain Sterling’s successful UFC title defense.
“Nothing taken away from Aljamain,” said Vera. He won fair and square. TJ seems like he came in injured, but the guy came to fight, you know? If he would have pulled it off, he’d be a hero right now, but sh*t happens. His shoulder came out and, you know, sad for him, but the champion keep the belt so good for him.”
Marlon Vera is currently the No. 4 ranked bantamweight on the roster. ‘Chito’ rides a four-fight win streak, with victories over Davey Grant, Frankie Edgar, Rob Font, and Dominick Cruz.