Sean O’Malley suffered the first defeat of his professional career when he was stopped by bantamweight veteran Marlon Vera in the UFC 252 co-main event earlier this month in Las Vegas, a performance that included an injury to his leg.
Like Maycee Barber before him, “Sugar” did not take it well.
But his blatant disrespect for “Chito” in the days that followed have soured some fans on the “Sugar Show.” And you know things are bad when outspoken middleweight Darren Till — no stranger to wacky headlines — is telling you to pipe down.
“I really like Sean and I think he’s gonna be good, but you got beat,” Till told Michael Bisping on “The Count’s” official podcast. “Take your loss, have respect, you will be a champion yet in the future, but don’t start calling the guy who just beat you a journeyman. I just think the way he’s handling it after the fight, ‘Oh, he’s a journeyman, I’m gonna be a champion,’ mate, just take the loss. Give the respect and you’ll be a champion. Just forget all of that.”
Till faced his own leg injury during his last fight against former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker but somehow managed to find the will to continue fighting, something O’Malley should have considered before getting put away in “Sin City.”
“I fought three complete rounds with a torn MCL,” Till continued (via MMA Fighting). “My knees are fucked. I know what I had to fight with for those three rounds. I couldn’t use what I’m best at. I’m a master of movement and I couldn’t do it. I was there. There was no way I was going. Even when Rob took me down, I was in so much pain and I was like, ‘Get back up, get back up, get back up.’”
O’Malley (12-1) was already calling himself champion before UFC 252 and despite the loss to Vera, continued that narrative in the days that followed. But whether or not “Sugar” ever gets the gold to prove it remains to be seen.