UFC bantamweight star Sean O’Malley has seen a completely different side of MMA fans. As long as they’re contributing to his bottom line, he doesn’t care.
On his YouTube channel, which currently has 191,000 subscribers, O’Malley responded to critics of his claim of superiority over Marlon Vera following a loss at UFC 252, declaring himself mentally undefeated despite his official record.
“Did he win? Yes,” O’Malley said. “Am I undefeated? Yes. Mentally, I’m undefeated. I felt superior in there until my foot gave out.
“I probably sound stupid. That’s OK, because look at me. I’m a little not that smart, eh, but I am that smart, because you’re watching this video. And guess what, I get paid to make videos. So you guys commenting, hating, you’re getting me paid, so thank you.”
The critics included middleweight star Darren Till, who told him “Take your loss, go back, come back.”
Vera credited his work with a calf kick for hobbling O’Malley early in the fight, which served as the co-main event for UFC 252 on Aug. 15 in Las Vegas.
O’Malley said were it not for low kick, and in particular the damage it did to his peroneal nerve, which causes the drop foot he and other recipients of hard low kicks have suffered, he would have showed his dominance over Vera. The bantamweight star wouldn’t give Vera credit for the calf kick.
“If you guys know what a calf kick is, go watch me kick his calf hard,” O’Malley said. “That sh*t hurts. I’ve been dropped by calf kicks in sparring. ... It doesn’t do what it made my foot do. What happened to my foot, I got kicked on this nerve right here. Did he get lucky? Yes. Did he win? The nerve gave me drop foot, and then I sprained my ankle, like, four times.”
After the fight, O’Malley hopped on a stretcher and was taken out of the UFC APEX. For those doubting his toughness, he invited fans to look at his win over Andre Soukhamthath, where he spent the latter part of the fight on his back after suffering a broken foot.
“I was out there rolling my ankle trying to knock this dude out,” he said of his work against Vera.
O’Malley’s outspoken character, appearance and popularity has made him a lightning rod for internet trolls. He’s encountered them en masse after his first MMA loss. None of that has changed his mindset.
“Take your loss like a man,” he said, imitating the whiny voice of a supposed internet troll. “I lose every day. I went to jiu-jitsu and trained hard today, and guess what, I lost. I slapped that dude’s hand: ‘That was sick bruddah.’
“In fighting, on paper, I’m 12-1. I lost Aug. 15. I’m 12-1, and you guys, for some reason, and in my head, I didn’t lose sh*t. I’m 12-0. I didn’t lose. And you guys are like, ‘Well, you lost.’ I get it. But mentally, I didn’t lose. Rewatch that fight. I was about to start beating his ass.”