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Morning Report: Marlon Vera wants Petr Yan next but willing to rematch Sean O’Malley: ‘I’ll kick his ass again’

UFC 252: O’Malley v Vera
Marlon Vera at his victory over Sean O’Malley
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Marlon Vera has his eyes on the bantamweight title, but he’s willing to take a detour if that’s what the UFC wants.

In April, Vera won a unanimous decision over Rob Font, battering him for 25 minutes in the main event of UFC Vegas 53. The win was Vera’s third in a row and catapulted him into the top-five of the UFC’s rankings. Now, on the cusp of true contention, “Chito” is hoping to punch his ticket to a title shot with a win over former champion Petr Yan.

“We’re right there,” Vera told The Schmo. “We’re literally one win away from fighting for that belt, so I hope we get it done with Yan. I think that’s the path to the belt, number one contender. We kick his ass, and we move forward.”

Most recently, Yan came up short his rematch with Aljamain Sterling for the bantamweight title, losing a split decision at UFC 273. In need of a new opponent and path back to the title though, Yan gave Chito props and suggested that one day they would fight, following Vera’s excellent performance against Font. With Vera having unsuccessfully pursued bouts against Dominick Cruz and Jose Aldo, having the top-ranked fighter in the division show interest in a fight makes focusing on that bout an easy choice for Chito.

“Dominick is an old story for me,” Vera said. “He don’t want to do it, he don’t want the smoke, well, we move forward. He wants it, he gets it. I stop Yan, and I get a title shot.”

A possible blocker for such a fight though is timing. Over social media, Vera took aim at Yan, seemingly wanting a fight in August. That raised the ire of “No Mercy” who told Vera he can wait until the fall or fight someone else.

If Vera does want to fight someone else, there is another possible opponent that always comes up when discussing Chito: Sean O’Malley. Vera and O’Malley fought at UFC 252, with Vera winning by first-round KO. O’Mallay dismissed the loss, claiming Vera’s win wasn’t legitimate as he suffered an injury to his leg that led to the finish, and since then, a rematch remains a constant possibility. O’Malley is currently scheduled to face Pedro Munhoz at UFC 276 and if he wins, “Suga” will jump into the UFC top-10. And if that happens, and the UFC wants to run it back between the two men, Vera says he’s game to settle old business as well.

“He has a fight coming up, I don’t have a fight yet, but if they want to make it happen, I’ll kick his ass again, put him out the same way,” Vera said. “He can keep talking, I’ll keep winning.”


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Thanks for reading! See y’all tomorrow.

If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and like us on Facebook.

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