Doctor weighs in on Sean O’Malley’s fight-ending leg injury at UFC 252

Sean O'Malley, UFC 252
Image Credit: @ufc on Instagram (photographer not listed)

A doctor has weighed in on the injury that set up the downfall of Sean O’Malley during his fight against Marlon Vera at UFC 252.

While many fans were waiting for the Suga Show to really reach the next level this past weekend, fate didn’t allow for that to happen — or, alternatively, “Chito” didn’t allow for that to happen.

Some believe that Vera was the cause of O’Malley’s injury whereas others believe it was a freak accident, with a handful of doctors now giving their thoughts on the matter.

Brian Sutterer MD goes into detail about the specifics of what the O’Malley injury could be, but he also didn’t commit to saying whether or not Vera’s actions caused it.

An account called FightingDoc on Reddit, who claims to be a resident physician, had the following to say.

“Sean was definitely hit with a high calf kick right as he was backing up to the cage,” Sutterer said of O’Malley. “Shortly after, while the commentators were talking about how short Stipe’s legs are, you can see him buckle. The common peroneal nerve courses around the fibular head on the outside of the lower leg and Vera’s kick hit him right on that point. Damage to that nerve and its branches will cause foot drop, more unopposed ankle rolling inwards, and therefore buckling of the foot when trying to walk. We saw that happen. And with the rolling of the foot and hitting the top of the foot on the canvas, he may have aggravated his old Lisfranc foot injury too.

“Lisfranc injuries also can lead to chronic mid-foot instability so it’s possible that all of the above just resulted in a perfect storm causing his right leg to just become non-functioning,” he continued. “Can’t take anything away from Chito though. Alex Perez TKO’ed Formiga several months ago with calf kicks and they both fight out of Team Oyama. Clearly those guys were drilling them during camp.”

A string of fighters have come out and given their thoughts on both the O’Malley injury and the eventual outcome with “Chito” getting his hand raised, but until we hear from the man himself, it doesn’t really feel like there’s going to be any sort of closure to this issue.

Some have suggested that a rematch could be in order once Sean O’Malley is back to full fitness, but it seems optimistic to think Vera would take that fight again.