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Marlon ‘Chito’ Vera won’t be competing at UFC Chile: ‘It hurt to make the decision’

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

One of the top Latin American prospects in the UFC won’t be fighting in the organization’s debut event in Chile.

Due to a minor injury, Marlon Vera has been forced to withdraw from the UFC’s first trip to a South American country outside of Brazil. According to Vera, the UFC planned on having him on the card and they were working on finding him an opponent for the May 19 event that’s set to go down at the Movistar Arena in Chile’s capital of Santiago.

“Yeah, even before the fight in Brazil (at UFC Belem against Douglas Silva de Andrade) they had already told me that I was going to be on that event (UFC Chile),” Vera told MMA Fighting. “And in reality, it’s logical, at least for me. But they offered me the fight, I took it, and when I started training I didn’t feel 100 percent. So I got checked out and I had a small fracture. I’m able to do the physical preparations, but I’m not allowed to spar or do wrestling or jiu-jitsu.”

Vera didn’t want to reveal where exactly he suffered the fracture, but shared with MMA Fighting other details on the injury.

“It’s not a big fracture,” Vera explained. “It didn’t need an operation. It was small – a hairline fracture – so it wasn’t anything severe. But the doctor did tell me that at the minimum I should have eight weeks with no contact, which didn’t bother me because I thought he was talking about sparring, and I can stop doing that, but he said no jiu-jitsu, no wrestling, so that’s when I saw it difficult (to compete at UFC Chile).”

The doctor’s analysis happened about a week after Vera’s decision loss to Silva de Andrade at UFC Belem last month. The required time for Vera’s fracture to heal wouldn’t have given the Ecuadorian bantamweight enough time to prepare for the May 19 date in Chile.

And coming off two hard-fought decision losses, one to Silva de Andrade and the other to top contender John Lineker, Vera is also looking to take some time off to not only let his body heal, but to also pick up new skills that could help him return to his winning ways.

Vera’s decision to opt out of UFC Chile was a painful one.

“I’m coming off two hard fights, so I want to do things well,” Vera said. “I want to improve, you know. I want to take time off, work hard, improve my technique, learn new things, and let my body heal because the last two fights were rough. I said that I’m going to take my time even though it hurt to make the decision, because it hurt to drop Chile. But sometimes you have to let things go to get bigger things.”

Although Chile wouldn’t have exactly been Vera’s home turf, it would’ve of definitely been a a change in crowd for the The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America 1 cast-member, as he’s developed quite a reputation for fighting opponents in their backyards.

Leaving the opportunity to fight in front of his Latin American fan base was one of the main reasons “Chito” was bummed to withdraw from UFC Chile.

“It did hurt because a lot of people were hoping to see me fight there and my family wanted me to fight there,” Vera said. “That would’ve been the first time the crowd would’ve been on my favor, but everything happens for a reason. I’m coming off two losses, which is not something I’m happy about, so I have to withdraw from the card. It’s not the biggest fight of my life, but it was the fight the I liked the most and fight that made me the most happy. But that’s life.”

Vera still has about a month left to recover from his fracture. The Team Oyama product hopes to return around the July, preferable get a spot on the UFC 226 card that’s scheduled to go down on July 7 in Las Vegas, Nev.