Marlon “Chito” Vera is convinced that 2023 will be his year.
Ecuador’s best have been on their way since a dream game in December 2020 against Jose Aldo. After picking up four straight wins with two of those wins via brutal knockouts, Vera can close the gap on her first career title shot with an upcoming victory on February 18, 2023 over Cory Sandhagen in the main event of the UFC Vegas 69.
Although eager for her shot, Vera, 30, is in no rush. The bantamweight division is currently sorted between the champion, Aljamain Sterling, and eventual challengers, Henry Cejudo and Sean O’Malley. Therefore, a Vera title shot should arrive towards the end of 2023 at the earliest.
“I know for a fact they’re fucking with me,” Vera said MMA hour. “I’m talking about the UFC, they like me. They want me to hold the belt, so I’m like, why go crazy? I managed my career pretty well. Winning, kicking ass and whatever I ask for, they give it to me. So we relax.
“I don’t like going and asking shit from the UFC, because think about it: every day someone calls and asks and says they want this, they want to negotiate, they want to renegotiate. , I’m not like that. ,” he added. “I like earning my fucking bread. I just kick people out, work my ass off and keep going. So I went back to [UFC Matchmaker] Sean Shelby and what I knew about this fight, he said to me, “Really, my only opener right now is the February main event.” I was like, ‘That looks kinda sexy.’
Vera has the whole timeline mapped out. Sterling and Cejudo are still set to collide for the immediate future, and from there, everything points to a big night in the world’s most famous arena where he knocked out Frankie Edgar in November 2021.
“I say it like this, ‘Aljo’ fights Cejudo in March,” Vera said. “I beat Sandhagen in February, they make the winner against O’Malley in June or July, I fight for the belt in November, MSG (Madison Square Garden). It’s sexy.
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