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.

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

UFC books Jose Aldo – Marlon “Chito” Vera (Reports)

According to multiple reports, UFC 255 is getting a really good bantamweight contest for it’s main card. First reported by Combate, Jose Aldo (28-7) will be returning after his loss to Petr Yan and he will be taking on the rising Marlon “Chito” Vera (16-6-1).

It’s crazy to think that given his lengthy history in the sport, the former UFC featherweight champion (Aldo) is still only 34 years old. There is still plenty of fight left in the former champion and he’s shown in his last couple of fights that he can still hang with the best.

His record shows that he’s 0-2 in the UFC‘s bantamweight division. However, many people believe that he won his first contest against Marlon Moraes. Following that loss, he actually got a title shot at UFC 251.

Aldo looked really good in the early rounds. However, Yan really started to settle in in the middle rounds before finishing Aldo in the fifth. Despite getting finished, Aldo to me showed that he’s still one of the best.

UFC Rise for Chito Vera

This is a massive opportunity for Chito Vera. The second straight big opportunity that the UFC has given Vera. We last saw Chito at UFC 252 when he took on the top prospect, Sean O’Malley. Vera got the biggest win of his career that night.

After getting hit with some clean leg kicks early, Vera was able to land a calf kick that seemingly caused O’Malley’s foot to go to sleep. O’Malley rolled his ankle a few times and Vera capitalized to get the TKO victory at UFC 252.

With that many eyes watching, Vera was able to deliver. Now, he will get a bigger opportunity against the former UFC champion. This will be a really good test for both of these fighters, and I can see a path to victory for both men. A tremendous bantamweight contest for the PPV main card.

Sean O’Malley on UFC 252 loss: “I lost to someone who’s not that good”

Sean O'Malley

Last Saturday night at UFC 252, Sugar Sean O’Malley (12-1) lost his first career fight to Chito Vera (16-6, 1 NC). O’Malley looked really good early on, but a leg injury compromised him in the first round.

Vera was able to take advantage and get the TKO victory. There has been some debate on whether the ankle injury was caused by a calf kick from Vera or if O’Malley just rolled his ankle. Either way, Vera took advantage and got the win at UFC 252.

After taking a few days to digest everything, O’Malley popped up today on his podcast, “The Timbo Sugar Show,” with his trainer and best friend Tim Welch. O’Malley broke down his thoughts following UFC 252.

The UFC’s Suga Show Rolls On

“Whoever wins, wins. Doesn’t matter how. He (Vera) won, but it sucks for me because I lost to someone who I don’t view as very good. It’s frustrating losing to someone I’m better than… In five years, I’m going to be the world champ while he’s going to be a journeyman,” O’Malley said.

“When I beat Eddie (Wineland), it was like peace, that was easy. He (Vera) gets lucky, beats me, and he gets up acting like he just won the f–king lottery. That showed me what kind of b–tch he was.”

It’s very clear that there is still some serious animosity between O’Malley and Vera. O’Malley mentioned in the show that his foot felt like it was asleep due to his tight ankle wraps. That combined with the kick could have led to his ankle rolling multiple times.

Either way, Chito got the win, and as O’Malley said, that’s what matters. If he was going to lose in the UFC, this is honestly the best way O’Malley could have lost. While you have to give Chito credit, the victory is far from being clean.

It’s not like both men were 100% and Vera caught O’Malley clean and won. Maybe the kick was the sole cause for the injury, but we will never truly know. Either way, there will be a lot of people who will always put an asterisks by the victory.

Personally, I would love to see the UFC run the fight back if O’Malley is relatively healthy. He said he had an MRI done yesterday and should have the results soon. If Vera beats O’Malley in the second match, it validates the first win as well. If O’Malley wins, he can prove that the loss was just due to the freak injury.

Sean O’Malley-Marlon Vera targeted for UFC 252

The “Suga” Show is returning to the UFC APEX. Per MMA Junkie, the UFC is booking Sean O’Malley (12-0) and Marlon Vera (15-6-1) for the main card of UFC 252.

The Suga Show is on his way to UFC stardom

O’Malley has been on fire since returning this year after a two year layoff due to some USADA issues. The charismatic bantamweight has two first round knockouts, the latest coming at UFC 250 against Eddie Wineland. O’Malley has a ton of hype behind him and he’s one of the UFC‘s potential superstars.

“Chito” Vera was on a five fight winning streak leading into his fight with Song Yadong back in May. The fight was razor close, but the judges gave the fight to Song. Many people believe that Vera won the fight. After O’Malley’s knockout of Wineland at UFC 250, he said that he would be interested in fighting Vera next. The two men have had some back and forth, and now it looks like were going to get to see them fight.

This is going to be a fascinating fight for both men. No disrespect to any of his previous opponents, but UFC 252 is going to be Suga’s toughest test to date. Both men are in about the same position inside the UFC‘s rankings. A win for O’Malley could vault him into the top ten in the UFC‘s bantamweight division. If O’Malley looks like he did in his last couple of fights, we could be talking about O’Malley’s title shot next July.

UFC: Pedro Munhoz out of Frankie Edgar fight after positive COVID-19 test

Pedro Munhoz, UFC

COVID-19 has taken down another UFC fight. UFC bantamweight contender, Pedro Munhoz (18-4, 1 NC), has been removed from his fight with Frankie Edgar (23-8-1) on July 15th after testing positive for COVID-19. Munhoz becomes the second fighter since Friday to have a fight scrapped due to COVID-19 after Gilbert Burns lost his title shot to the disease.

Next Steps for the UFC

At first, the plan was to scrap Edgar from the UFC‘s July 15th card and look to re-book his bantamweight debut. However, there have been a couple of bantamweights who are on Fight Island who have thrown their names into the ring as potential replacements for Munhoz.

The UFC is in a very fortunate spot to have two guys, who are fringe top-15 bantamweights, ready to step in for Munhoz. Marlon Vera (15-6-1) is coming off of a razor close decision loss to Yadong Song while Ricky Simon (16-3) is coming off of a win against Ray Borg back at UFC Fight Night 171.

Either man would make for a quality replacement for Munhoz. The fact is, Edgar needs a good test in his first fight at 135 pounds. Very and Simon would both give Edgar a really good fight in his bantamweight debut. Edgar has been putting in the work to get the pounds down, and he just signed a new deal ahead of the July 15th fight. I’m not sure who the UFC will go with, but I think we should get a resolution on this in the next day or so.