On the cusp of a potential bantamweight title opportunity, Marlon Vera returned to the Octagon at UFC 292 determined to make a statement and solidify himself as a legit challenger for the 135-pound title.
‘Chito’ stepped into Boston’s iconic TD Garen on Saturday night looking for a return to the win column after coming up short in his last outing against Cory Sandhagen. Standing in Vera’s way of a win was human highlight-reel Pedro Munhoz. ‘The Young Punisher’ went into the bout looking for his eighth career $50,000 bonus and a second-straight win.
Munhoz comes out immediately firing a series of kicks, targeting the lead leg and the body of Vera. ‘Chito’ catches one of Munhoz’s kicks and dumps him to the canvas, but lets him back up. Munhoz keeps up the high pace, continuing to target Vera’s leg. Vera fires a left jab. Munhoz returns fire. Vera throws a calf kick. Munhoz lands a front kick up the middle. The left hand from Munhoz misses. ‘The Young Punisher’ shoots for a takedown, but it is easily defended by Vera.
1-2 from Marlon Vera lands and Munhoz attempts to fire back against the fence. Munhoz continues mixing up his strikes as Vera lands a jab. Munhoz lands his own left hand followed by an overhand right. Vera goes low with a calf kick, and Munhoz goes to the body with a kick of his own. Short hook to the body from Vera lands. Munhoz connects again as he continues to outpace ‘Chito’ through the end of the opening round.
Munhoz comes out and picks up right where he left off, throwing a front kick followed by a series of strikes. Vera is looking to pick up the pace. Munhoz throws a looping left hand. Vera fires back with a combination followed by a crescent kick. Low kick-jab combination from Vera. Front kick by Munhoz lands. Jab from Vera lands. Munhoz responds with a combination. Munhoz attacks the lead leg with a stiff kick. He follows it up with a good left hand.
The big right hand from Vera is blocked by Munhoz. Vera attacks the leg and Munhoz lands a 1-2. Two-punch combo from Vera is blocked and Munhoz fires back a three-piece. A stiff calf kick from Munhoz lands. Vera responds with a body kick. Both fighters trade calf kicks. A right hand from ‘Chito’ gets Munhoz’s attention. Both fighters stand in phone booth range and continue trade strikes back and forth. Munhoz goes low with the leg kick and Vera responds with a counter right as the second round ends.
Both fighters come out and immediately resume their close-quarters boxing match with Munhoz continuing to target Vera’s lead leg while ‘Chito’ punishes ‘The Young Punisher’ with the jab. Vera lands a still jab that stings Munhoz. Vera follows it up with another. Munhoz shoots for a takedown, but it’s easily defended by Vera who counters up top. 1-2 from Vera as Munhoz is beginning to show significant signs of wear. Hard right hand from Vera lands.
Left uppercut to the body lands for Marlon Vera. Munhoz remains active, but he’s struggling to find the target while Vera seemingly can’t miss at this point in the fight. Big left-hand lands for Vera. Munhoz eats it and fires back, but Vera throws another left. Munhoz throws and Vera counters. Stick and move from Munhoz avoids the strikes of Vera. Munhoz fires a couple of body kicks that land, getting a nod from Vera.
Munhoz attempts a spinning heel kick in the closing seconds, but Vera is able to dodge just as the final horn sounds.
Official Result: Marlon Vera def. Pedro Munhoz via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Check Out Highlights From Marlon Vera vs. Pedro Munhoz at UFC 292 Below:
Marlon Chito Verá vs Pedro munhoz just got rapped up
Marlon connected more punches through out the 3 rounds 🔥‼️🚨 #UFC292
Marlon by decision ‼️ pic.twitter.com/87ssZTugo8
— Skrill 🍿 (@boy_skrill) August 20, 2023
Marlon Vera able to overcome his slow start struggles this time against an always game Pedro Munhoz
— Kevin Thang (@Skip2MyJays) August 20, 2023