This past Saturday in the co-main event of the evening at UFC Vegas 17, Chito Vera (16-7-1) got the biggest fight of his career. Vera got the opportunity to face former featherweight champion, Jose Aldo (29-7).
Aldo was coming off of a loss in a title fight against the UFC bantamweight champion, Petr Yan. A win for Vera over Aldo would vault him into title contention. This was a big step up for him in competition.
Chito was coming off of a win over Sean O’Malley that took place at UFC 252. O’Malley was arguably the most hyped prospect in the UFC. However, Chito was able to use effective leg kicks to chop down the Suga Show.
There were a few things that worried me about Chito’s win over O’Malley leading up to UFC Vegas 17. In his win back in August, Chito was really biting on the feints of Sean O’Malley. Every time O’Malley would feint, Vera’s reaction was clear and obvious.
During the first round of their fight, O’Malley was getting the better of it before Vera’s leg kicks debilitated him. Going into a fight against a guy like Aldo, I thought Chito would have a lot of problems if he fought the same.
Unfortunately for Chito, he did in the first round. Aldo dominated the striking in the first round ripping to the body and kicking his legs. Chito did much better in the second round putting pressure on Aldo and stole the round with his pressure.
In the third round, Chito found himself taken down and had Aldo on his back for virtually the entire round. What resulted was a clear victory for the former UFC featherweight champion.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 17?
So the question becomes, what’s next for Chito Vera? I think this was a really good learning experience for Chito at UFC Vegas 17. He learned a lesson in the first and the third round.
In the first round, he was keeping his guard way too high which allowed Aldo to rip to the body and kick his legs. In the third round, his over aggressiveness got himself taken down and he couldn’t get Aldo off of his back.
Those two rounds will get Chito plenty of footage to go back and improve on. So what should the UFC do with Chito? I think a really good fight for Chito could by Cody Stamann (19-3-1).
Stamann is currently 13th in the UFC’s bantamweight division. He’s also coming off of a loss so the fight makes sense from a situation and rankings perspective.
The UFC could always run the fight back with Sean O’Malley. There’s a big portion of the MMA population that wasn’t satisfied with that win for Chito. Perhaps, Chito could put an exclamation point on another fight with the Suga Show.