Over the weekend, Marlon Vera got the biggest win of his career by TKOing former lightweight champ Frankie Edgar. He was happy that the fight did not end quickly though.
“Chito” Vera had to bounce back after a tough first round, in his bout with Edgar. He got taken down and controlled, before returning to win the second, and get a TKO win in the third round.
Speaking on The MMA Hour, he made it clear that he was happy that the fight did not end quickly. He says that having to fight through adversity allowed him to learn things about himself, and show his skills.
“What I did on Saturday night, I’m happy with the performance, I’m excited, and I’m glad the fight didn’t end quickly, that it wasn’t a quick fight. Because quick fights you don’t really learn much,” Vera said.
“In that first round, I defended a couple takedowns, I got taken down. Even then, I feel like I landed more from the bottom either way. I know I lost the round, but going to the second, my body was fully charged and I could tel the was (tired). I don’t let them posture up. I see a lot of people that want to stand up instead of working first. I did my job, I clinched on the ground, and I landed some heavy elbows.”
Flipping Off Frankie Edgar
At the end of the second round, Marlon Vera was seen giving Frankie Edgar double middle fingers. This seemed to come out of nowhere, as there was no bad blood between the two, and Frankie is a generally respected fighter.
Chito says that he apologized for the disrespect, after the fight. He explained that he was just in the heat of the moment, and did not want to back down when they were facing off with each other after the round.
“The round two ended, and I was running at him with a flurry of punches, and I throw a head kick right at the buzzer, and the referee jumped in between us. Then normally, people shake hands when the round is over, they look at each other, they go chest to chest, whatever,” Vera said.
:He gave me that look like ‘Yeah, you want to hurt me or whatever? I’m here to fight.’ Of course, I could’ve just looked away like I don’t want to have eye contact with you, but I feel like that’s getting defeated mentally. So I kind of locked my eyes with his eyes, and he kept looking at me, so I was like ‘You know what f—k you.’
“Those are mind games. We’re fighting, we’re in a fist fight. We’re not playing any games,” Vera added. “In that period of time, I was thinking that if I looked down or looked away, he would think ‘Oh, he’s weak. He gave up in this little exchange.’ That’s not me. I’m going to face fire with fire, and I don’t mind getting in there. So that was it.”
Marlon Vera Does Not Like The Viral Photo
The finish in this fight came after Marlon Vera landed a front kick that dropped Frankie Edgar, before finishing off the fight. There was a viral photo that started making the rounds, that showed Marlon’s kick warping the face of the former champ.
While many people have tagged Chito in this photo, he refuses to post it himself. He says that he thinks it is a little disrespectful to Frankie, and that he has no problems with his former foe now that they have fought.
“It’s a f—ked up picture. I don’t post it. It’s f—ked up. I put it like this, it’s him or me right? It’s my family, so I’ve gotta bring the bread home against your family. It’s like, I’m sorry, f—k you for that. I’m going to do everything for my family, for my loved ones. Then we’re fighting for that, we’re fighting for a better future, we’re fighting for everything,” Vera said.
“But it’s a f—ked up picture. I didn’t post that picture. Everybody’s tagging me… even in the Stories, I don’t want to reply to that one. The guy has a family, the guy’s still having a life, and that was Saturday night. So for me, and how I see things, Saturday night was special, it will be in my heart forever, but I don’t live for that memory. Like those three minutes of fame where people think you’re cool. I lot of people make that mistake and then they go downhill, because they think they will be in that position forever. The fight’s gone. Monday morning came, and I’m back on the horse…
“It’s a f—ked up picture. It’s almost like, if I were to post it, it would be a little disrespectful. If that was me at the end of the road, and the other guy posted it, I don’t really care. I gotta take it, like yeah, I’m a loser, I gotta figure it out, but I won’t do it,” Vera added.
Down To Fight Merab Dvalishvili or Cory Sandhagen
As for what is next for Marlon Vera, he is keeping his options open. That said, he knows that there is a limited number of free opponents ahead of him in the rankings, so he would be down to fight Merab Dvalishvili or Cory Sandhagen next.
“There’s only two guys ahead that are free, which is Merab (Dvalishvili) and (Cory) Sandhagen. I would fight any of those two tomorrow. (Merab) is a wrestler. I would be more scared if he was an Anthony Johnson type of f—king guy… Hey, he’s a bad mother—ker, but I understand that. We all are, on any given night that top five can get a belt on their waist,” Vera said.
“I’m always trying to do everything. That’s why I volunteered to do anything. I get that styles make fights, and some can put on a war, and some have better grappling, better boxing, it doesn’t matter. It’s a fist fight… Everybody will probably run away from Merab. We both take a s—t sitting down. We’re the same, we’re humans. He’s tough, Sandhagen is tough, even if something happens with the Aldo/Font fight, I will text Dana like ‘Yo, send papers.’”
It will be interesting to see where Marlon Vera goes next. With his win over Frankie Edgar, he is primed for a big fight next.