UFC bantamweight contender Marlon Vera has given his thoughts on Sean O’Malley deciding to dye his hair to match the colors of the flag of Ecuador, the home nation of Vera.
“Chito” is set to compete against “Suga” in the co-main event of UFC 252 this weekend, in what will easily be the most important fight of his career so far. Many fans are choosing to underestimate him, but as we’ve seen before, flying under the radar in such a high profile fight can often be a good thing.
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After O’Malley’s aforementioned stunt, it’s clear to see that Marlon Vera is choosing to stay calm instead of allowing him to get in his head.
“The truth is that the fans have always supported me, and it’s something very gratifying to my country that he dyed his hair those colors,” Vera said in Spanish on Monday’s episode of Hablemos MMA. “He already knows who’s going to dictate the fight.”
Vera also discussed the fight itself:
“He’s a guy that has talent,” Vera said. “He knows how to fight well. He has power in his hands. He has his style, but let’s be honest, people want to make that fight was his breakout moment, a fight that put him the highest. But the casual fans forget that Eddie Wineland was knocked out the same way by Johnny Eduardo. It was a very similar knockout.
“The people who don’t study the UFC that much that are only fans at night; obviously they’re going to think he’s the best, and good for him because that gets him more money, gets him to the title quicker. But at the end of the day, Eddie Wineland was knocked out like that a few years ago, so Eddie Wineland bout in my opinion doesn’t count.”
As you can probably imagine, O’Malley isn’t exactly shy when it comes to discussing his opponent on Saturday night.
“He is a dangerous opponent and a really good black belt in jiu-jitsu has some TKO wins,” O’Malley told BJPENN.com of Vera this week. “A bunch of stoppages and has never been finished so that will be sweet for me to finish him for the first time. It is in the smaller cage so I was thinking that is a disadvantage. But, the more I think about it will be a disadvantage for him. It doesn’t really matter what we fight in. I don’t see him being able to connect any punches or get ahold of me. It won’t be a fun fight for him.”
“Vera is tough and can take some shots and a lot of the fights I was watching he was taking fights on the side of the head or the top, not the chin. I hit people right on the chin. So, yeah I see another first-round knockout. But, I’ll be ready for 15 minutes. I think this will be a sweet fight for me to get a lot of highlights. I think I will be able to bust him up for a little while.
“If it plays out the way I want it to, I’ll get an early knockout,” he added, making a final prediction for his fight with Vera.
Who do you think will come out on top when Marlon Vera and Sean O’Malley collide this weekend?