When Marlon Vera defeated undefeated bantamweight prospect Sean O’Malley in the UFC 252 co-main event, he not only changed the course of his own MMA career, but made a ballsy bettor very rich.
Vera, who entered the fight with O’Malley as a significant underdog, was widely discredited ahead of UFC 252. In the end, however, the Ecuadorian finished picked up a huge TKO victory over O’Malley sustained an injury in the fight’s first round—and a better named Dave Alfa saw it coming.
Alfa wagered a hefty $40,000 on the underdog Vera to win a whopping $190,000 when he dropped the hammer on O’Malley.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) August 17, 2020
Like this bettor, Vera seemed to see his upset win over O’Malley coming. At the UFC 252 post-fight press conference, the Ecuadorian star explained that he had extra motivation to win after losing an extremely controversial decision to China’s Song Yadong in his last fight.
“I believe I’m a solid top 10 [fighter],” Vera said (h/t South China Morning Post). “I’ve been making damage in the division. What happened in the last fight [vs Song] got me pretty upset, pretty angry and actually made me do what I did tonight. I wasn’t happy, I was pushing myself a little harder.
“I was being hard on myself. I wasn’t giving myself a vacation, more cheat days. I was like, ‘It’s time to dig deep,’ and that’s when I find myself even better, and I came to this fight with a mission.”
“I cannot let that happen again in my life,” Vera concluded. “They took half of my cheque. They cut a pretty sweet winning streak, which – I’m at seven right now. I don’t care what they say, I beat the Chinese guy.”
Did you expect Marlon Vera to beat Sean O’Malley at UFC 252?