Marlon Vera, (full name, Marlon Andres Vera Delgado) aka ‘Chito’ is now starting to make waves in the UFC’s bantamweight division after a wild six-year tenure in the promotion.
Born and raised in Chone, Ecuador, Vera has become one of the most exciting South American prospects in the UFC, with a promotional record of 10-5 and boasting three Performance of the Night bonuses and a Fight of the Night bonus. He also holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and despite his extensive career, has only actually been training in MMA for nine years.
Like many modern-era fighters, Vera made his first big break by securing a place in The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America back in 2014, and after winning his quarter finals bout, was unfortunately forced out of the competition due to a skin infection. Nevertheless, he was still offered a UFC contract and has remained active in the promotion ever since.
He embodies the warrior spirit as much as any fighter, competing for the sheer purpose of providing for his family, with several very unfortunate troubles and a serious medical condition taking a toll on his daughter.
So let’s look deeper into why Marlon Vera is on his way to MMA stardom and highlight his craziest, Top 5 MMA Finishes (in descending order)!
- Vs. Sean O’Malley – UFC 252 (Aug. 15, 2020)
- Vs. Wuliji Buren – UFC 227 (Aug. 4, 2018)
- Vs. Roman Salazar – UFC Fight Night: 73 (Aug. 8, 2015)
- Vs. Andre Ewell – UFC Fight Night: 161 (Oct. 12, 2019)
- Vs. Brad Pickett – UFC Fight Night: 107 (March 18, 2017)
It seemed that Sean O’Malley was destined to a continuous rise to the top of the UFC ranks, showing incredible promise and showmanship in his previous performances.
However, Vera, clearly unhappy with being looked at as a gatekeeper, took over O’Malley’s hype with a shocking first round finish at the UFC APEX.
It was clear after a couple of minutes that O’Malley was having some kind of ankle issue, with Vera capitalizing on the injury until the ankle finally gave way, allowing him to the fight via TKO. It was later revealed on the fight replay that the injury was probably caused by Vera’s sound check on a leg kick.
Filling in on short notice for this fight, it didn’t look great for Vera in the first round, with Buren clearly over-powering him and looking to grind out a victory.
However, Vera came out for the second with a fire lit underneath him, exacting constant pressure and a finding a crippling liver shot, rendering his opponent simply unable to continue.
The finish didn’t just earn him the victory but also one of the greatest comebacks of his career.
Talking of comeback victories, we take a look at his first Performance of the Night win on this list.
The second round saw Salazar completely overpower Vera in the grappling, winning clinch battles and smothering him in his guard. However, when you’re grappling with a BJJ black belt, you’d better stay alert.
Vera was able to throw up a triangle, before attacking the arm after it had been left trapped. Despite a valiant effort and a strong start to the fight, Salazar was forced to tap out to the tune of Chito’s deadly armbar.
Chito exacted the pitch-perfect performance here against Andre Ewell, being the aggressor throughout and expressing a relentless pace.
It was apparent that the pressure was all too much for Ewell after the clinch game and gruelling strikes just kept on coming… From the clinch, he was effectively chopped down at the knees, with punches and elbows from Vera.
With it also being his fifth consecutive victory, Vera showed that despite setbacks in his career, he was solidified as one of the most dangerous and formidable bantamweights in the world, and ready to be considered for title contention. It also earned him yet another Performance of the Night bonus.
Exemplified by the fights on list, it’s fair to say that Chito has been viewed as one of the greatest underdogs in recent years. Whether it be coming up against a rising star expected to use him as a stepping stone, or overcoming incredible adversity, he has consistently gone on to prove so many people wrong in the fight game.
He stunned London’s O2 arena into complete silence when he came up against the legendary Brad “One Punch” Pickett, who was taking the final walk of his illustrious career. The stage was set for his perfect send off in his home country, against a relatively unknown Vera at the time.
All started well for One Punch, likely bagging up two rounds in his favour with good pressure and grappling, before a beautiful high kick from Vera dropped him for the knockout. The fight was waved off before Vera could even follow up, with Pickett clearly compromised on the ground.
It was an emotionally thrilling post-fight scene, with Pickett leaving the cage for the last time, and Vera telling the live London crowd how much the victory meant for him and his ability to now take care of his family, after years of struggle. Even Pickett’s home town crowd had to applaud for Chito’s cause and his heartfelt address here.
It also earned him his second Performance of the Night Bonus.