Sean O’Malley says ‘it’s inevitable’ that he’ll be a UFC champion

ABU DHABI – Sean O'Malley is not sure what’s next for his career, but he does think he’s bound to be UFC champion.

The bantamweight contender is coming off the biggest win of his career, a split decision win over former champion Petr Yan on Saturday’s UFC 280 main card. The bout was a close and grueling contest, but O’Malley thinks a title is in his future.

“It’s inevitable,” O’Malley said at the UFC 280 post-fight news conference. “I turn 28 (Sunday), and I’m going to be in this sport for a long time. People want me to be champ, so it’s going to happen sooner or later.”

O’Malley thinks he answered many questions in this bout against Yan. He thinks critics questioned his durability and wrestling defense. and he was able to prove himself in those areas.

“‘Kick his legs,’ was the first one,” O’Malley said. “Now it’s ‘You can’t just kick his legs and take him down.’ Petr kicked my legs and took me down, and still (I) won. So yeah, I’m answering questions little by little.”

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The bout against Yan won Fight of the Night honors. O’Malley said he dislikes that type of performance, but admitted it makes for a good story.

“I don’t want to get hit ever,” O’Malley said. “It’s not healthy. It’s not good to get punched on the head. It’s not good for you to have headaches. Ideally, I go in there and not get hit. But I think it makes it even sweeter, the story – I really had to show my heart.

“I got to go deep. I had to go somewhere mentally and physically I’ve never been before, and that’s what happens when you fight the best guys in the world.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 280.

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Twitter reacts to Sean O'Malley's split decision win over Petr Yan at UFC 280

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie