In the first fight on Saturday’s main card, Yanez (15-3 MMA, 4-0 UFC) defeated gritty Englishman Davey Grant (13-6 MMA, 4-5 UFC) via split decision in a back-and-forth striking battle. Once notified of the post-fight tweet and a retweet hyping the matchup, Yanez took a moment to dissect what he sees as a questionable road to notoriety for O’Malley (14-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC).
“Yeah, I would definitely fight Sean O’Malley,” Yanez told reporters including MMA Junkie at a post-fight news conference Saturday. “Right now he says he wants to get a ranked opponent and all that stuff but he’s dodging all these other ranked opponents. Let’s dive into that one right quick.
“So, Sean O’Malley says, ‘OK, let me go out there and let me fight a top-ranked opponent.’ But then he gets Thomas Almeida, who was on the shelf for a couple years. Then he gets on a (losing) streak and he knocks him out. But it takes him three rounds to do it against the guy that is coming off the coach (Kris Moutinho). Talk about that. And then also, Eddie Wineland, who was also kind of just like off the couch for a long time, already at the tail-end of his career. (He) knocks him out. OK, cool. That kind of doesn’t really get no brownie points from me.”
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In comparison, Yanez thinks a win over Grant far outshines any of the victories O’Malley has to date. It’s one thing to look good against an aging veteran or a short-notice debutant, Yanez explained. It’s another to fight someone who is going to give you a real challenge.
“If you go out there and starch someone like Davey Grant,” Yanez said. “… Davey Grant can take a shot. He can take a hard shot. Man, if you go against someone who is a fighter like Chito. If you go against someone like Chito, and then he goes out there and just kind of plays with him and toys with him and knocks him out on the ground. I don’t know. There’s ups and downs with that, man. Then also, too, whenever he fought Kris Moutinho, he had the chance to fight a guy, who I think was ranked at the time, Ricky Simon. He had the chance to fight him but then doesn’t fight him. I don’t know. Something, I don’t know. But also, I’d be down to fight him. I don’t care. They’d have to pay me more. He’s always about the money. I am about the money, too, because I’ve got a family to feed.”
O’Malley, 27, is currently scheduled to fight Brazil’s Raulian Paiva (21-3 MMA, 3-2 UFC) in a bantamweight bout at UFC 269 on Dec. 11. O’Malley enters the fight on a two-fight winning streak.
As for Yanez, 27, he’s still unblemished in his UFC tenure. UFC Fight Night 198 marked the first time went the distance in his promotional tenure after three straight knockout/TKO victories to kick off his UFC stint.
UFC Fight Night 198 took place Saturday at the UFC Apex and streamed on ESPN+.
UFC Fight Night 198: Best photos from Las Vegas
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UFC Fight Night 198: Official scorecards from Las Vegas
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