It was a strong showing from Vera, who displayed a new level of confidence in his striking after working tirelessly with head coach Jason Parillo. The training sessions certainly paid off after Vera uncorked the front kick that blasted Edgar in the jaw and sent him crumbling to the canvas with the stoppage coming at 3:50 in the third round.
“In the cage it’s my family or yours and my family is more important to me,” Vera said about his performance. “We drill those things up the middle. I work hard. I go hard. That immigrant mentality, it’s forever.”
Known well for a very good boxing game, Edgar was fast to set up his combinations early while also keeping Vera guessing with his takedowns. After Vera thwarted his first attempt, Edgar continued to press forward and eventually planted the former Ultimate Fighter: Latin America competitor on the canvas.
From there, Edgar started hammering away with punches to the body and then going back up to the head in a classic ground and pound offense. Vera did his best to avoid the shots while also throwing a few up kicks that came close to landing.
As the second round got started, Vera attempted to establish a nice double-jab as instructed by his coach but Edgar was quick to fire back with a combination of punches of his own. Vera’s biggest mistake was throwing a knee that allowed Edgar to snatch another takedown but this time “Chito” was able to scramble free and get back to his feet.
With a chance to finally showcase his striking, Vera started to come after Edgar with more aggression, which included some strong knees and several stiff uppercuts.
While Edgar was attempting to up his volume, Vera was connecting with devastating power and that kept the New Jersey native backing up consistently despite urging from his head coach Mark Henry to move forward. Finally with Edgar near the cage, Vera launched the front kick that slammed into the former lightweight champion’s chin and a second later, he was down on the ground.
Vera has continued to prove he’s an elite bantamweight but this was arguably his best win to date because he took out a true legend in Edgar, who has now dropped his past two fights in a row with a pair of knockouts.