Marlon Vera thinks Aljamain Sterling isn’t playing by the spirit of the rules.
One of the biggest bantamweights in the division, Sterling regularly cuts an enormous amount of weight to get down to the 135-pound limit, and after title defense against T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 280, Sterling revealed that he put back on 40 pounds in the week following the fight. This type of weight fluctuation, while legal under the Unified Rules of MMA is considered against the spirit of the sport by “Chito”.
“Cutting that much weight is cheating to me,” Vera told Michael Bisping. You’re a bit of a p **** when you lose that much weight. It is because you desire to grow bigger and more powerful. Because he really doesn’t hurt nobody, but he makes you carry his weight, takes you down. I’m 155 pounds in or out of camp. I feel like that’s a natural 135-pounder, and I’m still thinking I cut a s***load of weight, because 20 pounds is a lot. That motherf***** weighs like 170, 180 pounds when he’s eating f****** God knows what. You can change his weight. He might drop .”
if you touch him.
Sterling’s weight has again become a topic of conversation as the UFC attempts to iron out a timeline and contender for the next bantamweight title defense, with the champion even teasing a possible move up to 145 pounds in his near future. All signs currently point to former champion Henry Cejudo being next in line and unfortunately, that leaves Vera still as the odd man out. Instead “Chito” will now face Cory Sandhagen in the main event of a Fight Night card on Feb. 18 in Las Vegas. Current No. 4 in the world according to the UFC, Vera believes that a win over the No. 5-ranked Sandhagen will finally get him the title shot he’s been chasing, regardless of what happens to the rest of the division.
“1,000 percent,” Vera said. The guys I’ve been beating have either been world champions, or are top five guys. It is a longer road for me, although it is the best I can do. It’s life. There are some people who have a more straightforward path, others have a quicker one, and I choose a harder 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. You can get great views if you just go into the place and turn the lights off. So I’m just plugging away.”
Vera’s run recently has been spectacular, with four straight victories since losing to Jose Aldo in 2020, including highlight reel head kick knockouts of Frankie Edgar and Dominick Cruz. The problem, at the moment, is the glut of contenders at the top of the bantamweight ranks, with Cejudo and Sean O’Malley jockeying for position, and even Merab Dvalishvili waiting in the wings. It’s a problem that could best be solved by people simply fighting it out to determine the next contender, instead of waiting for their turn at the title, so says “Chito.”
“Everything is a matter of they all start playing with dates and they all start holding position,” Vera said. “That’s why when they called me for this fight I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll take it.’ I don’t see it as a negative thing, I don’t see it as a going backwards thing. It’s just another day in the office, putting in more reps and getting more experience. Why sit down when I am healthy? There’s a bag of money to go and grab, so why not? Keep advancing. It’s not like I beat legit men. They’re not building me a career or treating me like a s***. The experience that I currently have, which is a lot, can’t be bought. You can only get that by walking the walk. I’m getting calmer in there, I’m getting better in there, while all these guys just act like a bunch of c****. They’re just being c****. I will keep improving and it will be night-night .”
SOTY. Jiri Prochazka’s comeback choke over Glover Teixeira nabs Submission of the Year honors for 2022.
Reaction. Forrest Griffin reacts to Stephan Bonnar’s death: ‘I’ll always miss you, brother.’
125. Kyoji Horiguchi pushes Bellator to add 125-pound division: ‘Flyweight is my weight class.’
USADA. JiriProchazka: USADA visits declining since UFC loss.
UFC events of the year for 2022.
Top cageside finishes for 2022.
Every UFC title fight in 2022.
Bellator vs. RIZIN: In Focus.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Bronson vs du plessis must be a fun fight to watch!!! Du plessis may not be the best fighter, but he is strong and has great heart. Let’s find out if Du plessis can defeat a veteran UFC fighter! #ufc
— Renato Moicano UFC (@moicanoufc) December 28, 2022
With or without all the gold on? https://t.co/mWx44YWpsR
— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) December 29, 2022
Holding my baby in one arm and USADA needle in the other. Blessed to be back on the circuit. I was up at 6 AM anyway. #cleanAthlete
— Julia Avila (@RagingPandaMMA) December 28, 2022
Doo Ho Choi (14-4) vs. Kyle Nelson (13-5); UFC Fight Night, Feb. 4.
Tatsuro Taira (12-0) vs. Jesus Aguilar (8-1); UFC Fight Night, Feb. 4.
Jun Yong Park (15-5) vs. Denis Tiuliulin (11-6); UFC Fight Night, Feb. 4.
Shane Young (13-6) vs. Blake Bilder (7-0-1); UFC 284, Feb. 12.
Derek Brunson (23-8) vs. Dricus du Plessis (18-2); UFC 285, March 4.
Julian Marquez (9-3) vs. Marc-Andre Barriault (14-6, 1 NC); UFC 285, March 4.
Jake Hadley (9-1) vs. Malcolm Gordon (14-6); UFC 286, March 18.
Thanks for reading and see you tomorrow!