Popular UFC bantamweight contender, ‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley has had some choice words for last weekend’s UFC 252 opponent, Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera. The Montana native suffered his first professional loss opposite the Ecuadorian all-rounder, following a foot injury – which Vera capitalised on to score a first-round knockout after a nasty ground-and-pound elbow.

O’Malley, 25, was caught with a leg kick to his right leg just before the three-minute mark of the opening frame, and up and until the finish – dealt with some real notable difficulties laterally moving around the Octagon and shifting his weight. Following an engagement before the culmination of the round, O’Malley fell to the canvas. Assuming stacked guard, Vera unleashed a left hook, followed by a massive elbow – with referee Herb Dean separating the two.

While a potential fracture has been ruled out – an MRI scan will determine whether or not O’Malley has suffered any ligament or tendon damage, leaving him sidelined until February 12 awaiting an orthopaedic specialist’s clearance.

Speaking on the latest episode of his podcast – a frustrated O’Malley called Vera a “journeyman” – voicing his displeasure with how the 27-year-old acted following the victory.

Let’s look at his (Marlon Vera’s) career, and in five years look at mine,” O’Malley said. “I’m gonna be a f*cking world champ, and he’s gonna be a f*cking journeyman. That’s just what his style is. He wins some, he loses some – he’s slow but he’s gritty, so he’s gonna be able to finish some people after they beat him up for a while.

Dude, I’m like – the way his pace was super slow like that, and I was exploding into shots, I wasn’t going to get tired, and was just gonna beat his ass,” O’Malley explained. “I don’t know if I was going to get a finish in that first-round. He was tough. He was patient which was fine, which is easier for me. He wasn’t doing anything he was standing there. F*cking sucks. Dude, I knockout Eddie Wineland, like peace – that was easy. He gets lucky and beats me and jumps up like he just f*cking won the lottery. That just showed me what kind of a bitch he was.

Last weekend’s defeat marked the first in Dana White’s Contender Series product, O’Malley’s five-fight UFC stint. The polarizing contender had notched prior wins over Terion Ware, Andre Soukhamthath, José Alberto Quiñónez, and a June highlight-reel knockout of the aforementioned, Wineland.

For the now #14 ranked challenger, Vera – that’s six straight successes at 135-pounds. The prominent submission and knockout threat had featured at a UFC Fight Night event in May in Jacksonville, dropping a highly-contentious judging defeat opposite, Song Yadong in a featherweight excursion.

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Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.