This probably isn't the way Sean O'Malley or the UFC wanted his undefeated record to gain its first blemish, but Saturday night at UFC 252 in Las Vegas saw it happen.
O'Malley clearly injured himself in the early going of the night's co-main event, and opponent Marlon "Chito" Vera took advantage and gained the first round victory.
Vera (18-6) stopped O'Malley (12-1) with thumping ground-and-pound after O'Malley hurt his leg in round one of their co-main event clash at UFC 252. O'Malley looked to be in control early with kicks before he took a bad step and injured his leg. O'Malley seemed to get his foot underneath him but took another bad step and fell. Vera rushed O'Malley, landing a monstrous elbow that seemed to briefly separate "Suga" Sean from consciousness. O'Malley tried to get a hold of his opponent but referee Herb Dean waved it off, possibly early. Either way, O'Malley's leg elicited audible yells from him before medical officials stretchered him out.
Audible yells also came from Vera, who demanded respect from the viewing audience after being listed as a sizable underdog leading into the fight. He's won six of his last seven, though he's widely considered to have been the victim of bad judging in that lone loss.