Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera Ready to Run it Back with Cory Sandhagen Should he win the bantamweight title at UFC 299

Marlon Chito Vera vs. Cory Sandhagen

Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera already has his first challenger in mind should he leave UFC 299 with the bantamweight world title wrapped around his waist.

Emanating from Kaseya Arena in sunny Miami, Florida on March 9, Vera will be the first man to challenge the reigning and defending 135-pound king, Sean O’Malley. The bout will serve as a rematch of their August 2020 meeting when ‘Chito’ shocked fight fans, scoring a first-round TKO against ‘Sugar’ after sending him crashing to the canvas with a well-placed leg kick.

Should Vera once again see his hand raised against O’Malley, the Ecuadorian knockout artist will immediately request to run it back with the last man to beat him inside the Octagon, Cory Sandhagen.

“I will ask for Sandhagen because he beat me,” Vera told The Schmo. “That’s the only reason I will choose that fight. The winner of Merab (Dvalishvili) and Henry (Cejudo) is also a big fight, and the UFC knows, whoever they pick I will (fight). But if I had to choose myself, I want to kick Cory’s ass. I know his dorky ass is crying about it, but it’s not my fault no one gives a f*ck about him.”

‘The Sandman’ snapped Vera’s four-fight win streak in March, earning a split decision victory. In the eyes of many, that made Sandhagen much more deserving of a title opportunity than Vera, but ‘Chito’ recognizes that the history between himself and O’Malley is what ultimately scored him a shot at UFC gold.

“The only reason this fight is happening is because I beat him,” Vera said. “That’s the only reason the fight is happening. So, I’m glad it came out like that. This is the best moment to do it, title fight, and I’m excited to become a world champion soon(h/t MMA Junkie).