Sean O’Malley returns to the Octagon at UFC 280 on October 22nd to face his toughest test yet.
The UFC fan favorite will see a big jump in competition when he meets No. 1 ranked bantamweight contender and former bantamweight champion Petr Yan. The meeting will have significant title implications as a win for Yan would once again establish himself as the top contender in the division. For O’Malley, a victory would likely catapult him toward the top of the rankings, resulting in an undeniable world title opportunity.
Ahead of the highly anticipated scrap, Sean O’Malley’s coach Tim Welch spoke with James Lynch in a MiddleEasy exclusive to discuss all things UFC 280. Speaking about the bantamweight title fight between reigning champion Aljamain Sterling and challenger TJ Dillashaw, Welch levied his prediction, believing that TJ Dillashaw will become a three-time bantamweight champion.
“I think if you make one mistake with Aljamain and let him get on your back, it’s gonna be hard to get out and he’s gonna finish the round on your back. So I’m curious to how… TJ’s a division 1 wrestler, he’s a very athletic scrambly guy. I think TJ has more tricks on the feet so I see TJ winning the fight by decision.”
— James Lynch (@LynchOnSports) October 10, 2022
Tim Welch Believes Sean O’Malley Can Knock Out TJ Dillashaw in Potential Clash
Should both Dillashaw and O’Malley emerge victorious in their respective bouts, the stage would be set for a world title fight between the two superstars. Asked how ‘Sugar’ would match up with Dillashaw, Welch said:
“Dillashaw is gonna be a handful for everyone. After that huge layoff, he came back and just looked great against Corey Sandhagen and he’s got a lot of tricks. He’s very confident, but like I said, Sean’s very long, he’s very precise with his punches so I think Sean could piece him apart and possibly knock him out also.”
With a bantamweight championship opportunity looming, Lynch asked if the UFC had spoken to either of them about a potential title fight following UFC 280, Welch confirmed there had not been any talks as of yet, but feels if O’Malley stops Yan in their bantamweight showdown, there is no way you can deny ‘Sugar’ his first UFC title opportunity.
“No, the UFC hasn’t said anything about a title shot or anything after this fight, but like I said, if Sean puts Petr away then there’s really no denying him.”