Dana White: Sean O’Malley Could Be A ‘Massive Global Superstar’ if He Beats Petr Yan at UFC 280

White believes "Suga" Sean has the chance to elevate his star power to new heights comparable to Conor McGregor

Dana White, Sean O'Malley
Credit: Zedd, Sean O'Malley (via YouTube & Facebook)

UFC president Dana White believes Sean O’Malley could become a big superstar if he gets past Petr Yan.

O’Malley is set to take on former interim bantamweight champion and current top contender Yan at UFC 280 on Oct. 22 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. He goes into the bout off an anticlimactic no-decision against Pedro Munhoz where he accidentally poked Munhoz in the eye. It will be a major jump up in competition for O’Malley, who has turned himself into one of the most well-known names in the sport after joining through “Dana White’s Contender Series.”

Dana White says Sean O’Malley could be a massive superstar if he beats Petr Yan at UFC 280

In a recent interview with Aaron Bronsteter of TSN, White talked about the opportunity O’Malley has this weekend. He referenced ‘Suga’ Sean’s ambitions to have a career like former two-division champion Conor McGregor, and become the biggest draw in the sport. According to White, the nearing showdown is reminiscent of McGregor’s outing with legendary mixed martial artist Jose Aldo at UFC 194 in Dec. 2015. ‘Notorious’ knocked out Aldo in just 13 seconds and skyrocketed his celebrity status.

“O’Malley is on the cusp of being a massive global superstar. There was talk earlier about Conor, he said, ‘I’d like to be as big as Conor’ and stuff like that. Well, if you want to compare it to Conor, this is like the Conor vs. Jose Aldo fight.”

White believes O’Malley’s entire life could change

O’Malley quickly amassed a quick following with his personality and online presence. He already has a strong fan base to start with and combined with the right performances, he could be the next big thing.

“When you have that type of star power and you have that thing people are attracted too, then it’s about winning key fights like this,” White said. “For O’Malley, he wins this fight on Saturday, his entire life changes on Sunday.”

While a finish as spectacular as McGregor’s knockout of Aldo would require something special, O’Malley will be certified as the real deal if he manages to defeat Yan.

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