When Sean O’Malley steps back into the Octagon at UFC 280, it will be in an unfamiliar role for the rising bantamweight star.
On October 22nd, O’Malley will face the biggest test of his mixed martial arts career, taking on former bantamweight champion and No. 1 ranked contender Petr Yan. Sitting in the No. 12 spot, ‘Sugar’ will be taking a big step up in competition. As a result, Sean O’Malley finds himself in an unfamiliar position; He enters the bout as an underdog.
In a clip shared on his YouTube channel, O’Malley embraced his rare role as an underdog heading into the 135-pound showdown.
“This camp has been nice too. On the treadmill, listening to the pro’s picks and it’s like… I like it. I like being the underdog. I like when people think I’m going to lose. It’s different.”
‘Sugar’ will head to Yas Island as a +255 underdog versus ‘No Mercy’ who enters as a 3-to-1 favorite. According to Best Fight Odds, it’s only the second time O’Malley has stepped into the Octagon as the underdog, the last time coming against Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera at UFC 252 in 2020.
Sean O’Malley Believes His Underdog Status is a Result of His Online Persona
When Sean O’Malley isn’t smashing opponents inside the Octagon, the colorful fan favorite is typically making content for his social media enterprise. Recently, O’Malley has taken part in a series of prank videos and discusses all things MMA with his coach Tim Welch on the Timbo Sugar Show.
As a result of his online activity, O’Malley believes fans underestimate the work he puts in during fight camp which had led bettors and oddsmakers to label him an underdog heading into his high-stakes scrap with Yan.
“I don’t think there’s anyone that takes fight camp as serious as me and I believe I have the best camp overall. Food, diet, training, what I’m doing more, better than anyone. I would put my camp up against anybodys as far as being the most dialed-in. My sleep is f*cking off the charts, my recovery is off the charts.
“Everything’s so dialed-in, but people don’t see that and I’m not necessarily having someone follow me around like, “Get this, I’m gonna get in a cold plunge. Get this, I’m gonna go train. Get this, I’m gonna be perfect. That’s not really the content I create so it’s not really what people see.”