UFC bantamweight prospect Sean O’Malley, who was already calling himself “champ” despite doing nothing to prove it, suffered the first loss of his MMA career after getting pounded out by veteran bruiser Marlon Vera at UFC 252 last weekend in Las Vegas.
A loss that came with a painful leg injury.
But getting carted away on a stretcher was a bad look, according to retired welterweight Ben Askren. “Funky” told Ariel Helwani that “Sugar” should have instead hopped his way backstage to retain what was left of his post-fight pride.
“It’s a fist fight,” Askren said (transcribed by MMA Junkie). “Deal with that shit. Yes, he was in pain, obviously. Listen, if you don’t have the expectation that you’re gonna be in pain when you get into a fist fight, you’ve got some bad expectations. I think he needs to grow up. He was building himself up and got his ass kicked by Chito Vera. He’s probably a little embarrassed by that, as well.”
Askren knows a thing or two about getting embarrassed, having gone stiff against Jorge Masvidal back in summer 2019. But “Funky” took the loss in stride, all things considered, and continued to maintain an outspoken presence on social media.
O’Malley, 25, has been radio silent since getting “humbled.”
Depending on the severity of the leg injury he suffered against Vera, which does not include any broken bones, O’Malley could redeem himself with a big performance by the end of the year, or perhaps first-quarter 2021.
Hopefully without a stretcher.