Marlon Vera ended Sean O’Malley’s unbeaten career record tonight at UFC 252 by way of a ground and pound TKO after ‘Sugar’ appeared to hurt his leg early in the opening round.
Vera with a leg kick. O’Malley responds with a good one of his own. Both fighters try to kick at the same time.
Low outside leg kick from O’Malley. Now with the oblique kick. O’Malley steps into a hard leg kick. Now a body kick.
Another good body kick for O’Malley, although Vera almost caught that one. Outside leg kick from Vera. Stomping kick to the knee from Vera. Now a head kick attempt. O’Malley almost catches a push kick attempt from Vera that he sidestepped.
O’Malley’s leg has given out badly on two occasions now and Vera has noticed it.
O’Malley backing up against the cage. O’Malley does lands a nice punch. Leg kick from Vera and O’Malley tries to counter with a spinning backfist attempt that doesn’t connect.
Vera light on his feet and Pressing forward. Body kick from Vera. Jab for O’Malley. He misses with a right hand.
O’Malley with a flurry of strikes as he presses forward and tries to get aggressive here, perhaps realizing he might not last the full three rounds with either his leg or his foot clearly compromised.
O’Malley staggers backwards and falls to the mat as his leg continues to give him major problems here. Vera takes full advantage, getting on top and landing a few punches, then a thunderous elbow strike. He lands another and the ref decides to step in and wave off the fight, handing Vera a big TKO victory at 4.40mins of the very first round.
A somewhat controversial stoppage there as O’Malley still appeared to have his wits about him and hadn’t taken too many unanswered blows, but with his leg clearly in bad shape the ref may well have felt a greater need to protect him from getting badly hurt out there.