UFC pivots and books Frankie Edgar – Chito Vera

Frankie Edgar

The UFC has switched up their plans for a bantamweight contest that will go down in November. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported this afternoon that the promotion was booking at contest between Frankie Edgar (24-9-1) and Chito Vera (19-7-1).

The matchup will take place at UFC 268 on November 6th. Now, originally the promotion was planning on Edgar taking on Sean O’Malley on this card. However, The Suga Show turned down the date due to some conflicts in his schedule.

The UFC wanted to keep Edgar on the card with the card being planned for Madison Square Garden. Edgar, a New Jersey native, was also wanting to stay on the NYC card in November.

As a result, the UFC scrapped their plans for O’Malley and shifted to the one man who’s defeated him, Chito Vera. Vera is coming off of a bounce back win back in June when he defeated Davey Grant by decision.

That win came on the heels of Vera’s loss to former UFC champion Jose Aldo back in December. Now, Vera is getting right back in there with another legend and another former UFC champion.

Last UFC Stand for Edgar?

Frankie Edgar still has a lot of fight left in him. The former lightweight champion is now competing in his third weight class in the UFC as he’s trying to once again capture gold that has evaded him since 2012.

As mentioned, Edgar became a star when he became the UFC lightweight champion. That said, Edgar was always undersized for a lightweight. Eventually, Edgar moved to 145 pounds and tried to become a champion at featherweight.

Edgar had three cracks at the UFC featherweight title and came up short in each contest. For the final move of his career, Edgar decided to drop down to 135 pounds and compete as a bantamweight.

In reality, this is the best weight class for Edgar and who knows what his career would’ve been like if he would have been at 135 the entire time. He made his bantamweight debut last year and picked up a win over Pedro Munhoz.

Edgar lost in a UFC title eliminator earlier this year to Cory Sandhagen by first round knockout in 28 seconds. That said, Edgar is still ready to try again and he’s ready to take on Chito Vera.

After dominant win at UFC 264, what’s next for ‘Suga’ Sean O’Malley?

Sean O'Malley

Kicking off the main card at UFC 264 was a showdown in the bantamweight division between newcomer Kris Moutinho (9-5) and “Suga” Sean O’Malley (14-1). First and foremost, I truly don’t believe there was a loser in this fight.

Yes, O’Malley completely dominated and put on a masterclass on Saturday night. However, Kris Moutinho showed insane heart and made good on his promise for the two of the to get Fight of The Night.

Moutinho took everything O’Malley threw at him and kept coming. Herb Dean made the unfortunate call to stop the fight in the third, but pretty much everyone believes that Moutinho should have been given the last 30 seconds to finish the fight.

Nevertheless, O’Malley shined at UFC 264. Moutinho was a replacement opponent, and O’Malley was taking a risk in fighting a relative unknown. His role was to completely dominate the fight and that’s what he did.

The Suga Show was on fall display. His striking was sensational, his counters were perfect, and as always, he was quite the showman. With the win, O’Malley advanced to 6-1 in the UFC with the lone loss coming against Chito Vera (17-7-1).

What’s next after UFC 264?

After the UFC 264 contest ended, O’Malley had a few names that he called out. He called out Dominick Cruz, Rob Font, Cody Garbrandt, and Petr Yan. In reality, I’m not sure any of those guys are going to be options for O’Malley.

Font is likely going to be in a title eliminator next which rules him out. Cody Garbrandt’s manager announced he’s moving to 125 pounds so he’s out. Petr Yan is fighting for the UFC title next so he’s out.

Dominick Cruz could be an option, but the former UFC champion is seeking someone higher in the rankings. In reality, I don’t think O’Malley will get anyone that he called out after the fight on Saturday night.

So, who should star in The Suga Show next? Well, Cody Garbrandt’s agent had a fantastic suggestion about another one of his clients. Ali Abdelaziz suggested that Sean O’Malley fights former UFC champion Frankie Edgar (24-9-1) next.

Personally, I love that fight for O’Malley. It would be a huge test and it would really show just where The Suga Show is at. Edgar just fought in a title eliminator against Cory Sandhagen and fell short. He’s ranked seventh and would be the perfect step up.

If not Edgar, I really wouldn’t mind seeing the rematch with Chito Vera. Vera is ranked 13th and there first fight did cast some doubt based on the way it ended. Why not have the two men run things back so we can all get some closure with that one.

Sound Off: Who should Sean O’Malley fight next?

After UFC Vegas 29, will see see Dominick Cruz – Chito Vera?

Dominick Cruz

Over the weekend at UFC Vegas 29, we saw the rematch between Marlon “Chito” Vera (17-7-1) and Davey Grant (13-5). The two bantamweight contenders first met back in 2016 where Davey Grant was able to pick up the unanimous decision victory.

Despite having won the first fight and won three straight entering UFC Vegas 29, Davey Grant was the betting underdog on Saturday night. That was because Chito Vera has been really taking off over the last few years.

Since that loss to Davey Grant back in 2016, Vera had gone 9-4 in thirteen fights. At UFC 252, Vera got his highlight victory when he stopped the hype train of Suga Sean O’Malley by stopping him in the first round.

Back in December, Vera fought Jose Aldo and it was an incredibly competitive fight, however, Aldo got the victory. The rematch between Vera and Grant at UFC Vegas 29 didn’t disappoint as the two men took home Fight of The Night honors.

It was a back-and-forth battle on Saturday night. However, Chito Vera was just always one step ahead of Davey Grant. A few times it looked like Chito could get the finish, but Grant was all heart and fought to the final bell at UFC Vegas 29. Ultimately, all three judges gave the fight to Chito Vera.

UFC looking at Vera – Cruz?

So, where does former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz (23-3) fit into all of this? Well, after the fight was over, Vera said that he would love to fight Dominick Cruz next. Cruz was on the broadcast calling the fights on Saturday night.

The former champion last fought back at UFC 259 when he defeated Casey Kenney by Split Decision. It was a big fight for Cruz who showed that he wasn’t done competing yet and he didn’t care about fighting up and coming contenders.

After Saturday’s win, Vera will still likely be on the back side of the top fifteen in the UFC’s rankings. Dominick Cruz is ranked inside the top ten, and my guess is that he will look for a top-tier opponent in his next fight. Chito Vera is great, but I think we will likely see him fighting someone else.

UFC Vegas 29 Preview: Marlon Vera – Davey Grant 2

Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC Vegas 29, we will see a fun rematch in the bantamweight division. Marlon “Chito” Vera (16-7-1) is back as he takes on Davey Grant (13-4). This fight is a rematch from 2016.

Back in 2016, Davey Grant was able to pick up the unanimous decision over Chito Vera. Now, I will say that when they first fought, Chito Vera was still very green in his UFC career. He was just 23 years old and it was just his third fight with the promotion. That said, Davey Grant still won the fight.

However, since that loss, Chito Vera has been much more active as he’s been steadily climbing the ranks at 135 pounds. Since their first fight, Grant has fought five times while Vera has fought 13 times.

Chito Vera got the biggest win of his career last year when he stopped Sean O’Malley in the first round at UFC 252. That completed a stretch for Vera that saw him go 6-1 which led him to a fight with former UFC champion Jose Aldo. Vera lost the fight, but was extremely competitive.

Davey Grant has had some trouble staying active, but this will be his third fight in the last 12 months. After starting his UFC career 1-3, Grant has won three straight including back-to-back knockout victories.

UFC Vegas 29 Prediction

Heading into UFC Vegas 29, Davey Grant is making a lot of people question their picks of Chito Vera. When the fight got announced, most believed it was Chito’s fight to lose. Chito has been way more active against much better competition and he’s so much better now than he was when they first fought.

However, Grant’s back-to-back knockout wins are giving a lot of people pause entering UFC Vegas 29. There’s no questioning the fact that Grant has the skills to make this fight interesting and potentially win the rematch.

That said, I really do personally like Chito Vera in this fight. He’s become so much sharper over the last few years and still at just 28 years old he’s getting better. His defensive grappling should help him here and I really think it’s his fight to lose. Grant has the power to make it interesting, but I think Chito Vera gets it done.

Prediction: Chito Vera by Unanimous Decision

UFC books Chito Vera – Davey Grant 2

The UFC is in the process of finalizing a fun bantamweight matchup for June. MMA DNA was the first to report last night that the promotion was close to finalizing a matchup between Marlon “Chito” Vera (16-7-1) and Davey Grant (13-4).

The matchup will take place at UFC Fight Night on June 19th. This fight is actually a rematch from their first fight that happened in 2016. That was Davey Grant’s second fight in the UFC and it took place in his homeland of England.

That night, Davey Grant was able to pickup the decision win. Grant was introduced to the UFC via The Ultimate Fighter. He made the finale during his season back in 2013 but came up short.

He didn’t have his second octagon appearance for more than two years after that. After he defeated Chito Vera, he lost back-to-back fights. However, as of late, Davey Grant has looked better than ever.

Heading into this UFC Fight Night on June 19th, Grant will be riding a three-fight win streak. His last two performances have been sensational where he has knockout wins over Martin Day and Jonathan Martinez.

UFC Return for Chito

2020 was a very interesting year for Chito Vera in the UFC. Entering the year, he had won five fights in a row which had the bantamweight division on notice. Chito looked like he was well on his way to being a title contender.

He started his 2020 by taking on Song Yadong. Song won the decision, but many people believe that Chito won that fight. After that, Vera was tasked with taking on “Suga” Sean O’Malley at UFC 252.

Vera used his calf kicks to stop the hype of the Suga Show and get the biggest win of his UFC career. After that win, the promotion gave him the biggest fight of his career. Vera took on former UFC champion Jose Aldo in December.

Vera showed heart in that matchup but was ultimately outclassed by Aldo in two of the rounds. Chito is 1-2 in his last three, but he’s still one of the bright prospects in the UFC’s bantamweight division. This should be a great matchup and with the previous history, should be a fun buildup.

After coming up short at UFC Vegas 20, what’s next for Jimmie Rivera?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 20, Jimmie Rivera (23-5) and Pedro Munhoz (19-5, 1 NC) went to battle for the second time. The two men had previously fought back in 2015 with Jimmie Rivera edging out a split decision victory.

It was apparent from the opening bell that this fight would go a little differently. Like the first fight, this fight was very competitive. However, from the first round at UFC Vegas 20, Pedro Munhoz had the advantage.

Rivera was able to land some big punches early on, but Munhoz was doing serious damage with calf kicks. By the end of the first round, Rivera was walking with a limp and was trying to disguise how badly he was hurt.

From that moment on, Rivera couldn’t get any momentum going. Munhoz seemed to be getting the better of the exchanges due to the fact that Rivera couldn’t plant down on his shots.

In the final round at UFC Vegas 20, Jimmie Rivera did go for it. He was swinging with everything he had trying to get the finish he needed, but it wasn’t enough. In the end, Pedro Munhoz walked away with a unanimous decision victory.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 20?

Jimmie Rivera started his UFC career at 5-0. At that point in his career, he was 21-1 heading into a matchup against Marlon Moraes. Since that matchup, Jimmie Rivera is just 2-4 in six matchups.

However, it is worth noting that all four of the losses came against guys who are inside the UFC’s top eight at bantamweight. Rivera has only lost to some of the elites in the division so it’s not time to write off El Terror just yet.

With the loss, I think you need to look down in the divisional rankings for his next matchup. One fight I would be interested in is seeing Rivera take on Chito Vera (16-7-1). Vera has looked great over the last couple of years and he’s 15th in the division.

He’s coming off of a loss as well so the timing makes sense. Another potential matchup could be Rivera against Merab Dvalishvili (12-4). Merab has won five in a row and he’s currently ranked 12th. From a rankings perspective, this could be the angle the UFC goes with.

UFC Match Maker: TJ Dillashaw – Jose Aldo

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 17, Jose Aldo (29-7) was able to get back in the win column. The former featherweight champion took on Chito Vera (16-7-1) in the co-main event of the evening at UFC Vegas 17.

In the first round of the fight, Aldo looked sensational on the feet. Busting up the legs and the body of Chito Vera. A dominant display of grappling in the third round sealed the fight for Jose Aldo.

After the fight was over, the former UFC featherweight champion called out one man. There is only one fight that seems to interest Aldo at the moment, and that is a matchup with the former UFC bantamweight champion, TJ Dillashaw (16-4).

Dillashaw never lost his title inside the octagon. Back in early 2019, Dillashaw dropped down to flyweight to try and capture a second UFC title. Dillashaw lost the fight, however, he also tested positive for EPO and was forced to relinquish his bantamweight title.

He also received a two-year suspension for the positive test. That suspension is up in January and Dillashaw is interested in returning in March. He responded to the UFC callouts this week stating that fighters are calling him out because, “They know that’s my belt.”

UFC: Dillashaw – Aldo

Personally, I think this is the perfect matchup for the UFC to make. Aldo just fought Petr Yan for the title back in July and he’s coming off of a very impressive win over Chito Vera. Aldo is right in the mix at 135 pounds.

Dillashaw needs a really solid opponent for his UFC return. He needs a big name that can reestablish himself near the top of the division if he’s able to pickup the victory. Aldo certainly fits the mold of that kind of opponent.

With the title tied up for at least the first quarter of 2021, I believe the UFC should move to make Aldo – Dillashaw. If Dillashaw wins, he will be the next in line for the title. However, if Aldo wins, he could get another opportunity at UFC gold.

What’s next for Chito Vera after UFC Vegas 17?

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.

Jose Aldo defeats Chito Vera at UFC Vegas 17

In the co-main event of the evening at UFC Vegas 17, we saw a big time matchup in the bantamweight division. Former featherweight champion, Jose Aldo (28-7), took on Marlon “Chito” Vera (16-6-1).

Aldo entered the octagon on a three-fight losing streak. The former UFC champion was looking to turn his career around after hearing everyone tell him that he’s looked washed up. However, it’s worth noting that Aldo’s last fight was for the title.

If you look at all of his UFC losses over the past few years, it’s been against world champions. Fighting Jose Aldo was a massive opportunity for Chito Vera. Vera was coming off of a massive win against Sean O’Malley at UFC 250.

O’Malley was one of the most hyped fighters in the UFC. However, Chito Vera was able to derail the hype train when he finished him in the first round. A win over Aldo would vault Vera into title contention.

UFC Vegas 17 Recap

Round 1

The UFC Vegas 17 co-main event opened with a touch of the gloves. Chito opened the striking with a couple of front kicks. Chito also started working the low kicks as Aldo appeared to be just gauging his opponent.

Aldo opened his striking with a good overhand right that got Chito’s attention. 90 seconds in and Chito tried to get a takedown. However, Aldo did a fantastic job of defending the takedown.

Chito held Aldo against the fence and started working knees to thighs of the former UFC champion. Aldo was able to separate with two minutes left in the round. Once back at range, Aldo landed a nasty hook to the body.

He followed up with another that really looked like it hurt Chito. Chito tried to hide it, but Aldo was hurting his body. One minute left in the round and Aldo opened up with the leg kicks. A dominant end to the first round for the former champion.

Round 2

The second round opened with Chito trying to press forward. Aldo countered with a vicious combination to the body and the head. The UFC champion then went back to work with vicious leg kicks.

Chito kept trying to attack Aldo, but he was appearing a step behind Aldo. 90 seconds in and Aldo was backing Chito against the fence. Aldo then staggered Chito for a second with a couple of left hands.

After that landed, Chito pushed back forward trying to get some respect back. However, the former UFC champion continued to get the better of the exchanges. Aldo ripped a big combination to the body that caused Chito to clinch Aldo.

Chito tried to get a takedown, but again, Aldo’s takedown defense was fantastic. Chito landed a really good left hook and then again tried to take Aldo to the ground. Better second round for Chito, but again, this round goes to the former UFC champion.

Round 3

Chito went right back to the pressure to open the final round. Chito tried to engage the clinch, but Aldo did a good job of swinging to the back. Aldo was able to jump on the back of Vera and get him briefly to the ground.

However, Chito was doing a really good job of defending. Chito tried to shake Aldo off, but ended up getting taken down. Aldo then went to work with a body triangle from the back.

The former UFC champion started working for a rear naked choke, but Chito was defending well. Halfway through the round and the third was all Jose Aldo. 90 seconds left in the round and Chito got up to his feet.

However, Aldo was still locked onto the back of Chito. Chito tried to slam Aldo down, but Aldo kept that body triangle locked in. In the final minute Chito couldn’t get anything done. Dominant victory for the former UFC champion on my scorecard.

Jose Aldo def. Chito Vera by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

UFC Vegas 17 Preview: Jose Aldo – Marlon Vera

In the co-main event of UFC Vegas 17, we have a banger of a matchup in the bantamweight division. Former featherweight champion, Jose Aldo (28-7), will be taking on Marlon “Chito” Vera (16-6-1).

This is the biggest opportunity so far in the UFC for Chito Vera. Getting the opportunity to fight a former world champion and getting the chance to really break through. However, you could make the argument he did that in his last fight.

Coming into UFC Vegas 17, Vera is coming off of a big win against Sean O’Malley. Vera was able to cancel the Suga Show with a leg kick that deadened the leg of O’Malley and compromised him. Chito went on to finish O’Malley with ground and pound.

Since 2018, Chito Vera has really taken off in the UFC. He’s 6-1 in his last seven fights with the lone loss coming against Song Yadong. However, most people believe that Chito won that fight.

He’s going to have his hands full tomorrow with the former UFC featherweight champion. There are a lot of critics out there who claim that Jose Aldo might be washed up. However, when you look at the 34 year old’s record, you have to look at the losses.

Aldo is just 3-6 in his last nine fights in the UFC. His loss against Marlon Moraes was razor close and I actually had Aldo winning the fight. The other five losses were to Max Holloway (Twice), Conor McGregor, Alexander Volkanovski, and Petr Yan.

All four of those fighters are world champions. Make no mistake about it, Jose Aldo is still one of the best fighters in the bantamweight division. The former UFC champion still has a lot left in the tank.

UFC Vegas 17 Prediction

The UFC Vegas 17 co-main event is a good one. When it comes to the fight, I think it’s a very difficult stylistic matchup for Chito Vera. Vera has looked very good over the last couple of years, but this is a really tough one for him.

When Chito fought O’Malley, he was really struggling early on. O’Malley was landing clean leg kicks and Chito was biting on almost every feint. Vera went on to make the adjustments needed, but that fight wasn’t looking good until that perfect low kick landed.

Chito has a very good top game, however, I can’t see him getting Aldo to the ground. On the feet, I don’t think Chito will have the speed or power advantage over Aldo either. Thus, it’s hard for me to pick him to win this fight.

I think at UFC Vegas 17 we are going to see Jose Aldo really put on a good performance. I think if he’s aggressive and works the body of Chito, he’s going to be able to comfortably win this one tomorrow night.

Prediction: Jose Aldo by Unanimous Decision