Ben Askren offers tough assessment of Sean O’Malley’s UFC 252 loss: “He needs to grow up”

Sean O'Malley, Ben Askren
Image Credit: Sean O'Malley's Instagram (photographer not listed)

Former ONE Championship and Bellator welterweight champion has offered a tough assessment of Sean O’Malley’s UFC 252 loss to Marlon Vera.

O’Malley met Vera in the co-main event of last Saturday’s UFC 252 card. Heading into the matchup, O’Malley had never been beaten, and was regarded as one of the brightest young prospects in the UFC. In the end, however, he was stopped by a torrent of Vera punches in the first round after seemingly injuring his leg.

Askren was not particularly impressed by what he saw.

“He wanted to just be out of there for whatever reason,” Askren said of O’Malley on Monday on ESPN’s DC & Helwani show, subbing in for co-host Daniel Cormier, who lost to Stipe Miocic in the UFC 252 main event (via South China Morning Post). “It’s a fist fight. Deal with it.

“I’m saying he shouldn’t have done that,” Askren added. “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.”

O’Malley ended up leaving the Octagon in a stretcher at UFC 252. Askren, for his part, says he wouldn’t have allowed anyone to put him on a stretcher after a fight.

“If they tried carting me out because of an ankle injury, I would’ve fought someone over that,” Askren said of O’Malley. “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 F alone. I think he needs to grow up.

“It’s part of growing up. In life, you have failures, you have struggle,” Askren added. “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.”

What do you think of these comments from Ben Askren? Is his assessment of Sean O’Malley fair?