Ben Askren was not happy seeing Sean O'Malley rely on a stretcher at UFC 252.
O’Malley competed in the co-main event of UFC 252, suffering a first-round TKO loss to Marlon Vera. O'Malley was finished after falling to the ground due to a compromised leg. Following the loss, he immediately clutched his leg in agony. A defeated O’Malley was stretchered backstage and transferred to a local hospital because of the ankle and/or lower leg injury.
“If they tried carting me out because of an ankle injury, I would’ve fought someone over that,” Askren said (via Simon Samano of MMA Junkie). “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.”
Tim Welch, O’Malley’s coach, responded to Askren on Twitter. Welch said that O’Malley was ordered onto the stretcher.
He was trying to say I don’t need a stretcher like three times, they enforced it.— Tim Welch (@TimwelchMT) August 18, 2020
The x-rays on O’Malley’s ankle and lower leg showed no breaks, but he will receive an MRI once the swelling goes down.