Joe Rogan praises Sean O’Malley for UFC 280 performance, but believes Petr Yan won

Joe Rogan wasn’t in Abu Dhabi to call UFC 280’s Fight of the Night between Petr Yan and Sean O’Malley, but while he believes O’Malley proved he belonged among the bantamweight elite, he also believes Yan should’ve gotten the nod.

O’Malley ended up getting a highly debated split decision win in the featured bout this past Saturday. On the latest episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, the longtime UFC color commentator gave his thoughts on O’Malley’s showing in the biggest spot of his career.

“He was certainly in it against Petr Yan, who was a former champion, the best in the division, the No. 1 contender,” Rogan said. “It was a very close fight, and he definitely hurt Petr on multiple occasions. He caught him with that big knee, rocked him. But the question is: How much is the takedown worth? How much is control worth?”

The second round was the only seemingly unanimous scorecard for Yan as he had massive success on the feet, even stinging O’Malley during the round.

Yan was able to land a pair of takedowns in the third, but O’Malley nearly tripled up with significant strikes. With the first and third rounds very close, Rogan’s thoughts on the outcome are more based on the impact of Yan’s takedowns, and the scoring in MMA as a whole.

“Takedowns without damage, what is the [value],” Rogan asked. “I’m not denying that I thought Petr Yan won, because I did think he won at the end of it, but takedowns without damage versus standup with damage, because ‘Sugar’ landed more strikes standing and had big moments. Yan had some big moments, too, one big left hand that rocked him. The question is how valuable are those takedowns and how valuable is that top game, that control?

“We’re limited by this 10-point must system. One guy can win a round 10-9 and it can be a very close round, and someone can win a round clearly and it can be 10-9. That doesn’t make any sense to me.”