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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Marlon Vera after loss at UFC San Antonio?

MMA: MAR 25 UFC on ESPN 43 Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

UFC San Antonio went down last Saturday night (March 25, 2023) inside AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, leaving several fighters feeling the post-fight blues. Among them was Yana Santos, who was out-wrestled by Holly Holm for 15 minutes en route to a unanimous decision loss (recap here).

And Daniel Lacerda, who suffered his fourth straight loss inside the Octagon after he was stopped by C.J. Vergara in round two (highlights here). And let’s not forget about Austin Lingo, who was choked out by Nate Landwehr (see it). But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a few days removed from the show.

Marlon Vera.

Coming into his fight against Sandhagen, Vera was riding a four-fight win streak and was looking to punch his ticket to a title fight or, at the very least, a title eliminator match. After all, he is currently ranked No. 3 and only Sean O’Malley and Merab Dvalishvili are ahead of them on a short list of title contenders.

But, things didn’t go as planned for the Ecuadorian, who couldn’t pop off the hard-hitting offense that helped him get to this point. And much of it had to do with Sandhagen’s approach to the fight, which ultimately earned a wacky split decision (it should have been unanimous).

Indeed, “The Sandman” fought a near-perfect fight regardless of what one incompetent judge thought. Sandhagen did what he needed to do to get the win and he is now the one in the championship conversation instead of "Chito."

Vera will now have to go back to the drawing board to try to get back on track. The good thing for “Chito” is that he won’t fall too far from the Top 5. And there is one man who would be perfect for his bounce back fight in Petr Yan.

Yan is coming off a one-sided loss to the aforementioned Dvalishvili and is ranked No. 4 at the moment (one spot behind Vera). Yan is is currently riding a three-fight losing streak and is a paltry 1-4 in his last five fights, so he is in desperate need of a win.

For Vera, defeating Yan will help him linger around the cream of the crop and give him some of his mojo back. It works well for “No Mercy,” too, because if he can hand “Chito” his second consecutive loss, well, he could be right back in the thick of things.

And Vera is all for it, calling for the fight following his loss.

For complete UFC San Antonio: “Vera vs. Sandhagen” results and play-by-play, click HERE.

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