Chito Vera Reveals Who Would Be His First Title Defense

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Marlon Vera has his mind all made up.

The #6 ranked contender will challenge former foe Sean O’Malley for the undisputed bantamweight title at UFC 299. While Vera is more than focused on the task at hand,  he can’t help but think about his *potential* future as Ecuador’s first ever UFC Champion.

Should ‘Chito’ seize gold in Miami, the 31 year-old already has a good idea on who he’d like to fight in his first title defense.

“As a real man that I am and I qualify myself as, I will ask for [Cory] Sandhagen because he beat me,” Vera told The Schmo in a recent interview. “That’s the only reason I will choose that fight.”

Cory Sandhagen is knocking on the door for a title shot after three-straight wins. One of those victories came over Vera by way of split decision at UFC San Antonio. Vera did bounce back from that defeat with a win over Pedro Munhoz at UFC 292.

Of course, the #4 ranked ‘Sandman’ isn’t the only big player at bantamweight. Joining him in the title conversation, is Merab Dvalishvili and former two-division champ Henry Cejudo, who will actually face off at UFC 298.

Vera isn’t opposed to defending the title against the winner of this potential title eliminator, but if it were up to him, he’d still choose a rematch versus Sandhagen— who has been very vocal on getting passed up for a championship opportunity.

“The winner of Merab and Henry is also a big fight,” Vera noted. “The UFC knows whatever they pick I would do. But if I have to choose myself, I wanna kick Cory’s ass. I know his dorky ass is crying about it, but it’s not my fault no one give a f*ck about him.”

“I don’t give two fucks about [who Sandhagen fights next]. I got Sean in front of me. I’m gonna kick his ass and after that, we figure it out. But as a man, I’ll pick him over anybody else.”

Before a rematch goes down with Cory Sandhagen, Chito Vera must first take care of business a second time against Sean O’Malley.

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Christopher De Santiago is a 22 year-old journalist out of Texas with years of experience covering MMA. Follow him on X: @chris_dsantiago

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