Under somewhat unfortunate circumstances, Sean O’Malley’s undefeated record came to an end at UFC 252 against Marlon Vera. While Vera picked up a first-round TKO, it appeared as if an awkward turn off of his right foot considerably injured O’Malley and he was unable to properly put weight on his leg.
The finish itself was no doubt because of the big strikes the Ecuadorian landed on the ground. When O’Malley fell to the ground after trying to circle away from Vera in a striking exchange, Marlon pounced with huge punches and elbows and Herb Dean stopped the fight. Vera celebrated while O’Malley was in pain and holding his leg. It’s six straight victories for Vera at 135 lbs, and we’ll see what the official diagnosis is for O’Malley after yet another fight in which he hurts one of his legs.
Vera threw a low kick and O’Malley responded with a heavier low kick. As Vera looked to find his range, O’Malely was really tattooing Marlon’s lead leg. O’Malley was frequently stance switching and giving Vera so many different looks. It appeared as if O’Malley had an issue with his right leg and Vera sensed it by attacking the other leg. Hardly any punches were thrown by either fighter in the opening round, but when O’Malley went forward with a series of shots and then as he circled away, he fell down. A hard punch and a vicious elbow and two more shots had O’Malley hurt and when Herb Dean stopped it, O’Malley seemed more hurt by his foot than the strikes. It’s nevertheless a huge win for Vera.
Official result: Marlon Vera def. Sean O’Malley by TKO (strikes) at 4:40 of round 1