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Sean O'Malley didn’t contest after a quick stoppage by Marlon Vera at UFC 252. Instead, he writhed in pain on the mat in defeat.
After suffering an injury to his left foot, O'Malley left the octagon on a stretcher. And in the eyes of Ben Askren, the stretcher was a clear sign of weakness.
“He wanted to just be out of there for whatever reason,” Askren said Monday while stepping in to co-host ESPN’s “DC & Helwani.”
It was highlighted that O'Malley probably left the stretcher because he was in a lot of pain, which Askren did not respond well to.
“It’s a fist fight! Deal with that sh*t!” Askren yelled. “Deal with it! It’s a fist fight!”
Askren calmed down and continued.
“I’m saying he shouldn’t have done that. It’s a fist fight,” he said. “Yes, (O’Malley) 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.”
The full extent of O’Malley’s injuryare yet to be known. X-rays on his ankle/lower leg revealed no fractures, but an MRI is still needed to assess any potential ligament or muscle tears.
Regardless, Askren still heavily criticized O’Malley for agreeing to leave in a stretcher. The former Bellator and ONE Championship title holder considers it a sign of weakness.
“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. …
“It’s part of growing up. In life, you have failures, you have struggles. You’re gonna learn from them. Obviously he hasn’t lost a fight to this point, so he probably hasn’t experienced those really hard things and really, at this point, embarrassment also. He was building himself up and got his ass kicked by ‘Chito’ Vera. He’s probably a little embarrassed by that, as well. Hey, that’s part of it. Get up, rub some dirt on it, hop yourself to the back.”
O'Malley's coach asserted on Twitter that the fighter rejected the stretcher multiple times, but they wouldn't allow him to leave on his own.
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