UFC bantamweight Marlon Vera fired back at the critics of UFC Jacksonville in an interview with CBC Sports, telling haters of the event to “f*ck off.”
Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, UFC president Dana White was adamant the show would go on, and he lived up to his promise. Starting this weekend, the UFC will hold four events in Jacksonville: UFC 249 plus three UFC Jacksonville Fight Night cards set to take place over the course of May. Considering the circumstances, the events are under intense scrutiny from a certain section of fans and the media who are worried about the potential spread of the coronavirus. Nevertheless, the show will go on for the UFC.
On May 16 in the third leg of the UFC Jacksonville series, Vera takes on Song Yadong in a pivotal bantamweight bout between rising contenders. Vera was originally scheduled to fight Ray Borg at the canceled UFC 249 card, but was re-booked to fight Yadong is what should be a fan-friendly fight. Despite his concern for the coronavirus, Vera still wants to fight and put on a show for the fans, not to mention make money for his family.
Speaking to Cole Shelton of CBC Sports, Vera said that while he admits he is worried about catching the coronavirus, he is making the decision to fight. To those who are condemning UFC 249 and the other upcoming UFC Jacksonville cards, Vera has two words: “F*ck off.”
“I’m definitely worried about getting the virus, I have kids and I have a family. But I’ve been training every day so nothing has changed. My coaches send me my workouts and I do it. I fight for my family and I need the money for my family. I put so much effort in to provide for my family. I want to fight, that’s it,” Vera said.
“We don’t get paid by month or salary. We get paid per fight and I don’t see my bills getting deferred. I need to go out and work and look after my family. A lot of people are going to hate on it, but f–k it, we are going to fight. I want to fight, if somebody doesn’t like it they can f–k off.”
Vera is not the first fighter scheduled to compete at one of the UFC Jacksonville cards to admit that he is worried about catching the coronavirus, joining the likes of Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. Others such as Amanda Nunes didn’t believe that it was the correct time to compete. Regardless of the potential risks, Vera and numerous other fighters have made their own choice to fight at the UFC Jacksonville cards. For these fighters, the potential risk is worth the potential reward, and they don’t care what the critics think about it.
Do you agree with Marlon Vera?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 5/4/2020.