- Marlon Vera believes UFC fighters are still cheating to this day
- “Chito” doesn’t mind being at the back of the line in getting a crack at the title
Despite the impressive winning streak, Marlon Vera is still not in the UFC bantamweight title fight conversation. Instead, “Chito” found himself being tested in a headliner against the No. 5 contender Cory Sandhagen at UFC Vegas 69.
Ahead of his next fight, Vera weighed in on a few important things in his division, including Sean O’Malley’s rise, Henry Cejudo’s return, and TJ Dillashaw’s history with PEDs.
Never a cheater
Speaking on Michael Bisping’s “Believe You Me” podcast, Vera was asked to comment on Dillashaw’s retirement. Bisping suggested what if the former bantamweight champ decides to take a break, use steroids and then make a return.
According to “Chito,” it will be “weird” if Dillashaw returns as he was already tested positive for a banned substance in the past but it’s not impossible because he heard there’s a drug that clears fighters before USADA testing. Vera suggested that instead of six months of ineligibility in the pool, USADA should at least test a returning fighter for a year. Regardless, “Chito” stressed that he’ll never cheat.
“If he comes back, it will be weird because he tested positive already and he said he’s retiring for good. It’s crazy because the moment you retire, you’re out of the [USADA] pool, I’m like, at least test the guy for a year,” Vera pointed out.
“I believe people are cheating even until this day,” he added. “I really believe that. I heard there’s drugs you can take and literally overnight [the banned substance] kind of like disappear… but I would probably rather die than cheat. That’s just me right.”
Thoughts on the title fight mix
As the No. 1 contender, O’Malley is very likely to be handed a shot at the title sooner rather than later. Cejudo, meanwhile, is also being thrown in the mix for an instant title fight with Aljamain Sterling in his return.
For Vera, risking his case for title contention by taking on Sandhagen is not a backward move as he’s confident about his progress and he doesn’t care if the hype around “Sugar” and “Triple C” puts him behind the line.
“1,000 percent,” Vera said. “The guys that I have been beating are either former world champions or top-five guys. Probably for myself I have a little longer road, but it is what it is. It’s life. Some people have an easier road, a shorter road, I have a longer road. At the end of the day, life is hard for everybody, but I really believe with a solid win on this guy, I’m fighting for the belt, regardless of all these hype things, who has the belt, who has more views, who has less views. It doesn’t f****** matter. If you go in there and put the guy’s lights out, the views come your way. So I’m just plugging away.”
“I don’t see it as a negative thing. I don’t see it as a going backwards,” Vera insisted. “If I’m healthy, why sit down? There’s a bag of money to go and grab so why not?… I’m beating legit guys… they’re like building my career. The experience I have right now, you can’t but that, you can’t get that, you can only get it through working the work… All these guys jus act like a bunch of cons, I’m just gonna keep getting better and by the time I get to them, it’s gonna be Night! Night!”
Vera is coming off a four-fight winning streak with victories over former UFC champions Frankie Edgar, and the latest, Dominick Cruz. It is yet to be known when, but should “Chito” manages to beat Sandhagen, a title fight could be next.