Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera had really come into his own over the last couple years, up until he suffered a setback last night at UFC San Antonio where he was soundly defeated by fellow top five talent Cory Sandhagen.
The Ecuadorian contender lost a split decision in the UFC on ESPN 43 main event, a fight no one aside from a lone judge thought he won.
But, he isn’t dwelling on the defeat. He isn’t making excuses for the defeat, and stated he’ll be back at it soon:
“Fell short today got zero excuses just remember something I won’t stop. This sucks but fucks it’s life.”
Many fans, fellow fighters, and media members believed he’d drop the first, and perhaps the second rounds of the fight, only to rally in the later rounds and come out the victor; he’s no stranger to doing this. ‘Chito’ is always a slow starter. He makes his reads early on without much offense, and he’s better at making mid-fight adjustments than just about anyone else in the sport.
This happened when he fought Andre Ewell in 2019, who he TKO’d in round three. This happened in his rematch with Davey Grant, who he lost the first round against, but won the second and third to secure the unanimous decision victory. It happened when he fought Rob Font, who he nearly knocked out three times, once each in the third, fourth, and fifth rounds after losing the first two.
And, it happened when he fought former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, as well as former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, who he KO’d in rounds three and four respectively after losing the first two.
But, Vera was unable to really get anything going last night. Sandhagen’s wrestling in the first and second rounds, as well as his footwork, movement, angles, and wide diversity of strikes in rounds four and five baffled Vera to the point he didn’t know what to do with the man in front of him.
We thought he had a chance once round three was over, his best round of the fight that could’ve gone either way. As soon as we had hope for him following the first 15 minutes however, Sandhagen made the proper adjustments and didn’t allow him to take over in the later rounds.
Who would you like to see Marlon Vera face next?
No. 1 ranked Merab Dvalishvili will probably end up facing Sandhagen, no. 2 ranked Sean O’Malley won’t take a rematch with someone that just lost, Vera was ranked at no. 3 going into this fight, and he’ll probably take Sandhagen’s no. 5 spot now. He has wins over no. 6 ranked Rob Font and no. 7 ranked Dominick Cruz…
There are however two sensible match ups for Vera that could be next: no. 4 ranked former champion Petr Yan, who’s had a bit of a fall himself lately, and a rematch with no. 8 ranked Song Yadong, who he lost a very controversial decision to back in May of 2020.
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