Sean O’Malley entered UFC 252: Miocic vs. Cormier III as a fighter with heaps of hype behind him. At this particular event, he found himself in a position to really catapult himself to the next level with a win over a proven fighter like Marlon Vera in the co-main event spot of a major pay per view.
Unfortunately for O’Malley, The Suga Show turned sour when a calf kick from Vera caused an injury to his right leg. This spelled the beginning of the end, and O’Malley’s leg eventually gave out, providing Vera with the opening to briefly ground-and-pound him out for the victory. And thus, that’s where O’Malley’s undefeated streak came to an end…or at least it did to the record books, not to O’Malley himself.
“I wasn’t beaten that night because my skill wasn’t as good. It definitely wasn’t a calf kick. If you go rewatch it, literally his big toe hit my peroneal nerve, and it caused (foot drop),” O’Malley said in his opening argumentation in an interview with ESPN released Wednesday. Calf kicks suck. They hurt bad. They don’t give you (foot drop), at least not the first one.
“But yeah, I don’t know. I didn’t feel like I lost because my skills weren’t better than his. I had a great training camp. Everything felt good. It happened that way. But I don’t feel like I lost. And I got a lot of shit for saying that I’m ‘mentally undefeated’ or whatever, but it is what it is. I’m excited to get back in there and go perform.”
By publicizing that he still believes he is undefeated, Sean O’Malley can expect to continue answering questions from the media and fans on why he cannot accept the fact that he does, in fact, have a loss on his record. O’Malley would take the time here to elaborate on why exactly he believes the loss to Vera is invalid and why he is rightfully considering the fight’s outcome as a freak happening.
“How many leg kicks have been landed since that leg kick in the UFC, and how many times has that happened again? So is that a freak accident or no?” O’Malley asked rhetorically. “So if I spin and throw a spinning back kick and I hit someone in the head, I’m trying to do that. Do you think Chito was trying to kick my nerve with his toe or no? Do you think he went into that fight thinking, ‘I’m gonna kick his nerve?’”
For what it’s worth, Sean O’Malley’s account of what caused his foot drop is supported by a doctor who has gone on the record discussing O’Malley’s injury at UFC 252. According to Doctor Brian Sutterer, the foot drop was indeed caused by Vera’s kick landing precisely on O’Malley’s nerve, which eventually led to O’Malley being immobilized. O’Malley argues that such an attack nor its consequence could be foreseen, so the credit of a “victory” for Vera should come with an asterisk at best.
“If he would have kicked my calf and given me a dead leg, (and) I fell over because of my calf, which could totally happen, then I’d be like, ‘This motherfucker beat me fair and square,’” O’Malley continued. “If he would have said in an interview, ‘I’m gonna go in there, I’m gonna kick him in his fuckin’ nerve and put his lights out,’ then I’d be like, ‘Damn, (he’s) good. He called that shit.’”
“It sucked just because if I lost, I wanted to lose legit. I wanted to be like, ‘Damn, he was the better man. I just didn’t feel like that. I went out there, and I felt good. I felt like I always feel in there. I felt unstoppable. And a freak accident happened, so it was frustrating.”
Sean O’Malley will have a chance to extend his self-defined undefeated streak when he faces Thomas Almeida this Saturday at UFC 260.
Do you think Sean O’Malley is a delusional sore loser? Or does he make strong points in his argument against the validity of his loss to Marlon Vera?