Sean O’Malley is a rising star in the UFC bantamweight division. The unbeaten prospect made his pay-per-view debut on Saturday on the UFC 222 main card in his second octagon appearance. The 23-year-old dominated Andre Soukhamthath through the first two rounds, but found himself fighting on one foot in the final frame.
O’Malley unleashed a high kick that was blocked by Soukhamthath in the early going of the third round. When he brought his right foot back to the ground, it was clear something was wrong. At one point, he was balancing on one leg, throwing punches at his opponent.
After the fight, O’Malley said that he thought his foot was broken. A visit to the hospital revealed that he did not break his foot, but he unknowingly entered the fight with a fracture.
“It’s been hurting pretty much non-stop since the fight. They said it wasn’t broken. They said I had a previous fracture in there before the fight, so I’m going to go figure out what’s wrong with it. It’s hurt pretty much non-stop, so we’ll see,” O’Malley told The MMA Hour on Monday.
“I think I landed a few kicks with my foot on his knee in that first round. I think I hurt it a little bit in the first, a little bit in the second, and then finally just kind of couldn’t use it in the third,” added “Sugar.”
O’Malley has suffered foot injuries before. He employs a high-volume kicking game and Saturday wasn’t the first time he’s had a foot injury.
“Every fight I get in, I throw a lot of kicks. I land with my feet a lot. I’ve had a lot of foot issues because of that. I wasn’t surprised. I’ve had a lot of foot injuries,” he said.
O’Malley was on his way to see a doctor on Monday to get a better understanding about the injury. He’s walking with the aid of crutches and believes that it may have been better if he outright broke the foot.
“What I understand is it would be better if it were broken for it to heal and all of that rather than the ligament tears. I think I would almost rather it be broken,” he said. “I’m going to get it checked out and we’ll figure out what it is from there.”