As soon as he exited the operating theatre, Ben Askren took aim at Sean O’Malley, encouraging him to “toughen up a little bit.”
Askren has long been suffering from a hip injury which ultimately impacted his fights against Demian Maia, Jorge Masvidal, and his decision to retire in November 2019. His affliction is the collateral damage of his accomplished wrestling and MMA career which saw him climb through the ranks of Bellator and ONE Championship and perform in the Olympics.
On Tuesday, he went under the knife to repair his damaged hip. In a video following his operation, Askren was seen walking throughout the hospital in his surgery gown while holding onto a zimmer frame. He appeared slightly groggy, which was unsurprising given his major procedure, but that didn’t stop the fighter from delivering one of his trademark jabs to the young bantamweight prospect.
“See, Sean O’Malley was faking an ankle injury, needed a f***ing stretcher,” Askren stated. “I’m like four hours post-op for a new hip and Lisa’s got me walking already! Sean, toughen up a little bit son.”
Askren is referring to “Sugar’s” long-awaited bout against Marlon “Chito” Vera which took place at UFC 252 on August 15. The undefeated bantamweight star took a major blow as he suffered the first loss of his career against Vera. His rival finished him by TKO in the first round of their match, but O’Malley said his ankle injury was the reason he suffered defeat. He rolled his ankle several times in the bout which restricted his movement, and he was sent out of the arena on a stretcher.
Askren ripped O’Malley for his Octagon exit and said he should have just hopped out of the fight instead of making a scene on the stretcher. The bantamweight immediately fired back against Askren.
“I thought Ben Askren was smart,” O’Malley said on The Timbo and Sugar Show podcast. “I didn’t know he was slow. You have an opportunity, you (expletive) your foot up. I had an opportunity. Your foot’s (expletive) up, and you have to walk here to there. Or they said, ‘Here, we’ll push you on a little thing with wheels so you don’t have to walk on your (expletive) up foot, make it worse.’ I’m like, ‘God, big Ben – I thought you were smarter. I didn’t know you were stupid.’ It’s just stupid. If you ask the smartest person in the world, you smash their foot and you say, ‘Do you want to walk over there or do you want to be carted?,’ they would take the cart.”
Are you on the Ben Askren or Sean O’Malley side of the fence?