According to Sean O’Malley, Petr Yan was blackmailed into fighting him in Abu Dhabi at UFC 280 after he declined to fight Marlon Vera.
However, despite the fact that it appears Yan desired the bout, Sean alleges Petr Yan was “bullied” into accepting it after supposedly declining to face “Chito” earlier this year.
“He was the only guy after that Pedro Munhoz fight (when) I went back to the UFC and said, ‘Hey, I want to book a fight,’” O’Malley told reporters ahead of UFC 280 (h/t BJPenn.com). “Obviously that wasn’t a satisfying victory. Petr was literally the only guy in the top 10 without a fight.
“He turned down Chito. He turned down Chito, so I don’t think he really had an option. I think the UFC probably went to him and said, ‘Hey, you can’t just keep turning these guys down. You have to fight the ‘Suga Show.’
“I know he was saying that he picked that fight, but I don’t believe that. I think he got bullied into it.”
After former UFC bantamweight champion Rashad Evans called him “a UFC project and Conor McGregor want tobe” in an interview with Barstool Sports earlier this week, O’Malley is likely hoping – elicit a rise out of Yan.
O’Malley has claimed that a victory on Saturday will propel him into the higher echelons of the talent-stacked bantamweight category and bring him closer to Conor McGregor-level superstardom, so Yan’s comments come as a bit of a surprise.
Yan vs. O’Malley will headline UFC 280: Oliveira vs. Makhachev. This coming Saturday, February 2nd, at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, is where you can catch the massive event.