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Marlon Vera set to become first Ecuadorian fighter to headline a UFC event: ‘This is huge for me’

UFC 268: Edgar v Vera Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Marlon Vera will enter the biggest fight of his combat career later tonight (Sat., Apr. 30, 2022) at UFC Vegas 53 live on ESPN/ESPN+ from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, when “Chito” meets Rob Font in a pivotal bantamweight main event.

LIVE! Stream UFC Vegas 55 On ESPN+

Bantamweight Battle! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., May 21, 2022, with a must-watch women’s Bantamweight contenders’ bout between former champion and No. 2-ranked contender, Holly Holm, taking on No. 5-seeded Ketlen Vieira. In UFC Vegas 55’s co-main event, No. 14-ranked Santiago Ponzinibbio will lock horns with Michel Pereira in an absolute Welterweight firecracker.

Don’t miss a single second of face-punching action!

While Vera has become a mainstay in the UFC’s jam-packed bantamweight division this will be the first time he will be headlining a UFC event. “Chito” has made nearly 20 trips to the Octagon throughout his career, but this weekend will be special. Vera will be breaking down barriers as the first Ecuadorian fighter to be featured in a UFC main event.

“Of course, this is huge for me,” Vera told MMA Junkie. “This is a golden opportunity for me and this is something I’m taking very seriously.

“The work continues. After my last fight, I returned to the gym and I stayed focused. I stayed ready and learned new things. I knew something big was coming up and it did. All the work – everything is where it’s supposed to be and I feel good. This weekend, I know I’m going to put away Font.”

Vera, 29, is coming off the biggest performance of his career when he finished former UFC champion Frankie Edgar will one of the craziest front kick knockouts you will ever see (watch the fight replay HERE). The outing helped remind fight fans that Vera is a force to be reckoned with as one of the more promising contenders at 135 pounds today. It was also his ninth finish out of his last 10 UFC victories, proving that he’s one of the best finishers around.

That said, you’re only as good as your last fight so it’s important that Vera rides this momentum and puts on a memorable performance opposite Font this weekend at UFC Vegas 53. Vera will have more pressure put on him than ever before, but with the support of his fan base and home country of Ecuador “Chito” believes he’ll continue to climb the ranks.

“The support has always been there and people have always been loyal to my work and they’re always connected,” Vera said. “What’s happening is that each time it grows more and more. It’s more people who join the support, more people who follow my fights and that can only help me. The bigger the energy, the better and the more sure of myself I feel in there. But yeah, people have always been supporting me.”

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 53 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN2/ESPN+ preliminary card bouts at 4 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN/ESPN+ main card start time at 7 p.m. ET.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC Vegas 53 news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archives here and here. For the updated and finalized “Font vs. Vera” fight card and ESPN/ESPN+ lineup click here.