Marlon Chito Vera is eager to compete for the UFC championship for the first time.
The key question in the Bantamweight category after UFC 292, which took place in Boston, Massachusetts on August 19, 2023, is: who will be the next championship challenger? That was the big question going in, and it remains so after Aljamain Sterling was knocked out in the second round by Sean O’Malley through technical knockout.
Vera’s unanimous decision victory over Pedro Munhoz on the same night has presumably put him ahead of the pack as top competitors Merab Dvalishvili and Cory Sandhagen recover from injuries. That he is the lone man to ever beat O’Malley, who had a career record of 17 wins to 1 loss with 1 no contest, must assist immensely.
“It’s too early,” Vera said. Dana White and Hunter Campbell just got a text from me saying, “Hey, guys. Where I am is no secret to you. I’m all set to go now. Therefore, let’s talk if there’s something to discuss. But I’m totally OK with it. They’ll probably show up with something,” he said.
Just how not to do things right now, it appears to me. There is just no way that they won’t act now. In a business sense, of course, now is the time.
Optimally, monetarily. I’m not even trying to make it happen. There’s no need for me to exert any pressure. Exists at this point. It’s in as good a shape as can be expected.
Each top-tier Bantamweight has had a tremendously fruitful career up to this point. Since losing to Marlon Chito Vera, “Sugar” has won six straight, except for a second-round no-contest against Munhoz due to an eye poke.
Vera lost by decision to Sandhagen and Jose Aldo, the retired two-time Featherweight champion, after his fight with O’Malley.
O’Malley amazed Marlon Chito Vera
Vera was impressed with O’Malley’s performance and had more criticism of Sterling’s than anything else, despite the two’s mutual dislike.
Vera thought O’Malley was great; that’s a wonderful example of the whole thing. Imagine you’re in a battle with a person who throws crisp, powerful blows, and you decide to just run right at him. In other words, what do you anticipate will occur? But Vera has reached that point.
In terms of stand-up, I’m on par with everyone. I can read you just fine if I’m in your presence. Sterling is a fantastic f—king champion wrestler, but he lacks the mental toughness to stare an opponent down and play chess.
He simply lacks it. I already have it. I’ve faced every great striker in the world, and none of them have been able to put me in a compromising situation.