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Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera confident he gets Sean O’Malley title fight rematch: ‘There’s no way they don’t do it’

Marlon “Chito” Vera is ready to get his first shot at Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) gold.

UFC 292 went down in Boston, Mass., two weekends ago (Aug. 19, 2023) and left the Bantamweight division with one big question: Who is the next title challenger? That likely would have been the biggest question regardless of outcomes, but Sean O’Malley’s second round technical knockout (watch highlights) of the now-former champion, Aljamain Sterling, has opened up some unexpected possibilities.

With top contenders, Merab Dvalishvili and Cory Sandhagen, healing from injuries, Vera’s unanimous decision win over Pedro Munhoz that same night has seemingly put him in front of the pack. Surely, it helps a whole lot that he’s the only man to have defeated the 17-1 (1 No Contest) O’Malley.

“It’s too early,” Vera told Morning Kombat. “I just texted Dana [White] and Hunter [Campbell] and I said, ‘Hey, guys. You guys know where I am. I’m ready to go. So, if there’s something to talk [about], let’s talk. But I’m all in for [everything].’

“I’m sure they will come with something,” he continued. “To me, it just seems like how not to do it right now? There’s no way they don’t do it right now. I mean, business-wise, it’s the best time to do it. Money-wise, eye-wise. I’m not even pushing [for it] myself. I don’t need to push. It’s already there. It’s as ready to go as you can be.”

It’s been a majorly successful path to get to this point for each elite-level Bantamweight. For “Sugar,” he’s gone unbeaten in six bouts since facing Vera, only battling to a “No Contest” with the aforementioned Munhoz after an accidental eye poke stopped the action in round two. Vera, on the other hand, is 5-2 (21-8-1 overall) since the O’Malley encounter, having only lost decisions to Sandhagen and now-retired former two-time Featherweight champion, Jose Aldo.

Despite the animosity the two have built for each other, Vera was impressed by O’Malley’s performance and had more to critique on Sterling’s end than anything else.

“He was great,” Vera said. “That’s picture-perfect right there. You’re fighting a guy that is a really clean striker that have good zip on the punches and you just run to the guy. Like, what you think is going to happen? But I’m at that level. I can hang with anybody in the stand-up.

“I can be in front of you, I can make reads,” he concluded. “Sterling is just — great f—king champion — good wrestling, but he doesn’t have that stand-up to like be right there, eye-to-eye, and just play chess. He just doesn’t have that. I do have that. I’ve fought every single world-class striker and no one has put me in a bad position.”

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