Ben Askren doesn’t exactly think that Sean O’Malley went out on his shield at UFC 252.
O’Malley shared the Octagon with Marlon Vera in the co-main event of UFC 252. Early in the fight, O’Malley suffered an ankle injury. Vera capitalized and finished “Sugar” via TKO. After the bout, O’Malley was stretchered out of the UFC APEX to receive medical attention.
Ben Askren Rips Sean O’Malley’s UFC 252 Exit
Askren spoke to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani following UFC 252 and shared his thoughts on O’Malley being stretchered out after suffering the first loss of his pro MMA career (h/t MMAJunkie).
“He wanted to just be out of there for whatever reason,” Askren said Monday while stepping in to co-host ESPN’s “DC & Helwani.”
“If they tried carting me out because of an ankle injury, I would’ve fought someone over that,” Askren said. “You’re not putting my ass on a stretcher because I got an ankle injury. I got one other good leg, and I’m gonna hop all the way to the back. Leave me the eff alone. I think he needs to grow up. …”
O’Malley had a ton of momentum going into his bout with Vera. This was especially true after his highlight-reel knockout win over Eddie Wineland. While Vera was widely considered to be O’Malley’s toughest test to date, “Sugar” was the betting favorite.
Going into the bout with Vera, O’Malley had a perfect pro MMA record of 12-0. He was already starting feuds with former UFC champions Henry Cejudo and Cody Garbrandt. He even went back-and-forth with current UFC bantamweight title holder Petr Yan.
O’Malley is facing a lengthy sit. He must be cleared by an orthopedic doctor before he can return to the Octagon. Otherwise, he’ll be out until Feb. 2021.