UFC fighter wins fight after badly injuring leg, gives winner's interview on his back


Sean O’Malley did not stand for his post-fight interview after his victory Saturday in UFC 222. But it wasn’t any sort of political protest.

O’Malley was unable to put any weight on his right leg after suffering what the fighter initially feared was a broken foot during his match with Andre Soukhamthath in Las Vegas.

O’Malley appeared to injure his foot just minutes earlier when he landed a kick to Soukhamthath. As a result, he essentially fought the final two minutes one on leg.

Yet O’Malley was declared the winner via unanimous decision after Soukhamthath basically appeared to forget how MMA fights are scored and failed to try any striking maneuvers against his injured counterpart.

UFC president Dana White said at the post-fight news conference that initial reports did not confirm a broken foot.

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But O’Malley was in so much pain after the fight that he had to lay on his back while awaiting the judge’s decision, then stayed there as he was interviewed by ring announcer Joe Rogan.

O’Malley was then carried to the dressing room before being treated by physicians.

White said he was impressed by O’Malley’s fortitude to keep battling after suffering the injury.

“That’s when you find out who’s real, when you talk about a fighter,” White said. “Like, a fighter. A lot of guys will use that as an excuse to try and get out. That kid didn’t try to stop that fight, he kept fighting right to the end. And then when the fight was over, you saw him, he was screaming. He was in so much pain. But he fought his a– off right to the end.”

Do you believe O'Malley deserved to win via unanimous decision?

White said he was equally puzzled by Soukhamthath’s strategy to keep going for takedowns of O’Malley rather then engaging him and going after his injured foot.

“I couldn’t understand why he was laying right on top of him instead of making him stand up and get up,” White said. “Not very smart.”

With the win, O’Malley, 23, improved his record to 10-0.

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While he’s still relatively inexperienced, White said the fighter known as “Suga Sean” has a bright future.

“The kid’s fun to watch, he’s exciting and people love to watch him,” White said. “The crowd really likes him. I like it.”

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Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. A native of Milwaukee, he currently resides in Phoenix.
Scott Kelnhofer is a writer for The Western Journal and Conservative Tribune. He has more than 20 years of experience in print and broadcast journalism. A native of Milwaukee, he has resided in Phoenix since 2012.
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