Sean O’Malley has weighed in on the debate about the UFC 281 main event stoppage. According to the UFC bantamweight contender, it all depends on whether on not you like Israel Adesanya.
“I liked the stoppage just because I like ‘Izzy’ so much. If you don’t like ‘Izzy,’ you’re like, ‘Early stoppage!’,” O’Malley said in his podcast (transcript via Sportskeeda). “Because, dude, that was trending in a bad way. I would have rather seen it be an early stoppage than see ‘Izzy’ get KO’d and take two years off his career potentially. Like, a fat, like a clean, like that Frankie [Edgar] KO would’ve been bad for ‘Izzy.’”
Adesanya initially protested the stoppage, and says that a part of him believes that he should’ve been given more chances to recover, especially since he already proved in the Kelvin Gastelum fight that he can take heavy damage and still find a way to win.
At the end of the day though, the former champion says he trusts his team’s judgement, and they agree that it was a fair stoppage. For what it’s worth, that also coincides with O’Malley’s quotes, with his team being among those who are genuinely looking out for Adesanya’s long term health.