The victor in his last six bantamweight outings, and fresh from a knockout triumph over, ‘Sugar’ Sean O’Malley – Ecuadorian contender, Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera has big plans moving forward – which may include a certain South American counterpart.
The streaking 135-pound challenger spoke of his excitement at the possibility of testing his ilk against featherweight icon, and recent bantamweight title challenger, José Aldo, going as far as to predict he’d retire the Manaus favourite, “in a minute“.
Speaking with MMA Junkie Radio recently, the Team Oyama mainstay has targeted a November return to the Octagon – which would mark his third outing of the annum. When asked about the possibility of facing Brazilian Muay Thai specialist, Aldo – Vera was all ears.
“I’d retire him (José Aldo) in a minute – bring it,” Vera said. “I like that fight. That fight would excite the (expletive) out of me, and I’d take it. I’d take it, and I believe I’d finish him, so that’s a beautiful fight to make.”
Aldo last featured at UFC 251 on ‘Fight Island’ in July – dropping a fifth-round knockout defeat to current champion, Petr ‘No Mercy’ Yan in a vacant bantamweight title opportunity. A victory for Aldo would’ve mark another Brazilian bantamweight titleholder, following prior success from one-time pound-for-pound great, Renan Barão. When it comes to both Aldo and Barão – Vera is more than familiar with the pair but doesn’t necessarily consider himself too caring of their respective fights.
“I watch every single fight, but I didn’t follow their careers – I didn’t get to like them,” Vera explained. “It’s a weird thing. There’s guys that I love and then guys I don’t care, and he’s one of the guys that I don’t really care.”
“I’m sure he’s (Aldo) a sweetheart, but some fighters you just don’t like, you don’t cheer for. Every time he fought, I knew he was going to beat the guys that he beat, and I expected him to lose to Conor (McGregor). I expected him to lose to Max (Holloway). But, I like him – he’s a great fighter. But, I just don’t become a fanboy over the years. I don’t know, I just didn’t.”
Now back amongst the official top-fifteen at bantamweight – Vera sits at #14, following his first-round, ground-elbow knockout of the aforenoted, O’Malley – improving him to 6-0 at 135-pounds in his last six outings. The 27-year-old featured earlier this year at a May, UFC Fight Night event in Jacksonville – dropping a highly-contentious unanimous judging defeat to Song Yadong in a brief featherweight excursion.
With a 16-6 professional record, Vera has notched eight knockout wins, and six submission successes – taking out the likes of Brad Pickett, Brian Kelleher, Nohelin Hernandez, Andre Ewell, and Frankie Saenz of note recently.
#6 ranked Aldo is currently 1-1 since his bantamweight debut back at UFC 245 in December, taking a close judging win of his own over compatriot, Marlon Moraes. The Brazilian is also set to help another Brazilian counterpart, former lightweight best, Rafael dos Anjos – as the veteran prepares for a move back to 155-pounds, for a UFC 254 meeting with streaking wrestler, Islam Makhachev on September 26th.