Following Thursday’s official UFC 280 press conference, Yan and O’Malley faced off in an intense moment with Jon Anik as the middle man. After about five seconds, Yan had enough of having O’Malley in his face and delivered a two-handed shove to the chest of “Sugar,” which got a big reaction from the fans in Abu Dhabi.
Yan walked off stage, while a shirtless O’Malley continued to fire up the crowd.
Watch Yan’s shove in the video above.
The fighters got into it with their words as well during the press conference, with Yan likely landing the best trash-talking shot after O’Malley said he will “smash” Yan in their fight — and saying that Yan is lying about his height.
“It’s not about the height,” Yan said. “Just look at him, he’s like a whore on the side of the road.”
Even O’Malley had to laugh and give Yan credit for his one-liner.
“That was good, that was good,” O’Malley said.
Yan, a former undisputed and interim champ, looks to bounce back from a split decision loss to Sterling at April’s UFC 273 event. “No Mercy” lost the title via disqualification after landing an illegal knee to Sterling at UFC 259 in March 2021, but was able to capture interim gold with a decision win over Cory Sandhagen seven months later at UFC 267.
O’Malley is unbeaten in his past four appearances, but in his most recent bout against Pedro Munhoz at UFC 276 in July, an accidental eye poke led to the fight being ruled a no contest — an unfortunate ending to a fight that was billed as O’Malley’s biggest octagon test to date.