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Sean O' Malley wins controversial split decision against Petr Yan at UFC 280

Even if some disagree with the outcome, Sean O'Malley proved to be a brave rival to Petr Yan by winning an immediately contentious match.

On the UFC 280 pay-per-view main card at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, O'Malley (16-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) defeated Yan (16-4 MMA, 8-3 UFC) by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28).

The scorecards favored O'Malley even though many observers believed Yan had done enough to win easily prior to the decision. O'Malley claimed he would have to watch the fight again because he had initially believed it could have gone any way.

Yan ripped a body kick after an unwarranted eye poke in the opening seconds of the fight. O'Malley's lead leg was beaten by Yan's leg kicks. O'Malley was knocked out by Yan, but he ultimately got himself back up.

In Round 2, O'Malley used a combination to catch Yan off guard before pounced. Yan stayed calm and delivered a vicious punch of his own to knock O'Malley to the ground. O'Malley threatened submissions from the bottom, but Yan emerged victorious.

O'Malley's flurries from the third round appeared to be of higher quality and quantity in the final round. Both man often left the other in awe. O'Malley slipped his standing knee up the middle and drilled Yan in the head, turning it into a powerful weapon. Yan managed to take O'Malley to the ground and contain him, but while there, he was unable to generate any meaningful offense.

By all accounts, the battle was closely contested, and O'Malley was declared the winner.


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