Marlon Vera: Title shot justified after Dominick Cruz finish, but Henry Cejudo can ‘get it’


Marlon Vera believes he could get a title fight next.

In August, Vera scored the biggest win of his career, knocking out Dominick Cruz in the main event of UFC San Diego. The win was Vera’s fourth in a row and put him on the precipice of a title shot in the stacked 135-pound division — and according to “Chito” it could have been enough to seal the deal.

“Possible — I would love to,” Vera recently said on The MMA Hour. It could be possible after the events in Abu Dhabi [at UFC 280].. It really comes down to performance. Let me know what you are capable of. I gave you what you want. While winning is nice, it is not the only important thing. It’s the most important thing, f*** the rest, but winning like that is what [makes] you go [up], and you just keep going to the other place, just keep climbing ahead. They want it. They are looking for clean ***.. They want to be like, ‘Oh, f***! It !'”

is their favorite.

Vera currently ranks No. 5 in the UFC bantamweight rankings but could move up following his win over Cruz. Vera said that it may not be enough to win a title shot, but will depend on the events over the next few weeks.

At UFC 278, Merab Dvalishvili defeated Jose Aldo. At UFC Vegas 60 later this month, No. 4-ranked Cory Sandhagen faces No. 10-ranked Song Yadong. And at UFC 280, two massive bouts take place when former champ Petr Yan faces rising star Sean O’Malley and bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling defends his title against former two-time champion T.J. Dillashaw.

With so many outcomes possible, Vera doesn’t worry too much about winning a next title fight, but he believes he is a worthy contender.

“Anybody in the top 5,” Vera said when asked if he didn’t get a title fight next. “I’m a top-5 guy.

“I’m not full of s***. My energy is not wasted on things that I can’t control. The UFC likes me? Yeah, sure. They love me. Dana loves me. 1,000 percent. I want to become a world champion. Sure. I sell the arena. If that arena would be with 3,000 people, 4,000 people, they’re like, ‘OK, we have a little problem. You could just keep on winning to see what happens. All the smoke, and I have it.”

There’s another possible option for Vera, outside of a top-five opponent. Following his win at UFC San Diego, former bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo ran down Vera, saying he was “not impressed by his performance.” Cejudo recently declared his intention to return to MMA following a brief retirement, and while he’s angling for a featherweight title shot, Vera wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to show Cejudo first-hand the skills he was so unimpressed by.

“He can come back, too — he can get it,” Vera said. He’s an ex-champion, so he didn’t lose the belt. Vera said that he retired because USADA scared his. I wouldn’t mind if he came back to skip the line. Really. Why would that bother me? These guys are crazy, I think.

“We are adults and they really b**** about [stuff] like, ‘Oh, you’re retired.’ F***, these guys are f****** p******. What the f***? This is f****** fighting, boys, this ain’t f****** Disney channel or something like that. A spot like this is not something you can fight for. Just f****** call Dana [White] and he will tell you the truth. ‘I’m next? Yes or no?’ There’s no b******* or f****** crying. He will return if he is asked. He can get it. He can have it. He can certainly have it. We’ll watch and see how it goes. Keep it simple, keep it real, keep it going.”

Whatever may come next, Vera is in an excellent position. Only 29 and already one of the top bantamweights in the world, “Chito” says that it is simply a matter of time until he hoists UFC gold.

“Vera stated that she believes we are moving in a positive direction. “I’m going to be a world champion. When? I don’t know. If anybody can see the future, nobody would be stuck in a hole at some point in life. However, I am going to become a world champion. That’s without a doubt. That’s 1,000-percent sure. It’s an egregious fact. When? We don’t know. Soon? Maybe. Very soon.”