Chito Vera says Sean O’Malley has gone quiet since winning the belt.
In 2020, Vera became the first (and thus far only) person to hand O’Malley a loss in MMA, stopping him in the first round of their fight at UFC 252. Since then, talk of a rematch has never been far away, and the talk only intensified after O’Malley stopped Aljamain Sterling at UFC 292 to win the UFC bantamweight title.
In the aftermath of that victory, O’Malley suggested that Vera could be his first title defense, but a month later, Chito said he hasn’t heard a peep about it.
“As of now, they haven’t said anything yet,” Vera told fans and reporters when asked about the matchup at the Noche UFC Q&A. “I’m preparing as if I’m fighting in December. Why not? The guy was talking about fighting and stuff like that, and now he’s backing out. I guess when you’re a champion you can call the shots, so let’s see what that b**** wants to do.”
Since that first encounter, both fighters have had tremendous success in the UFC’s bantamweight division. O’Malley, of course, is now champion, while Vera is currently ranked No. 6 in the UFC’s divisional rankings (No. 9 in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings) and coming off a unanimous decision win over Pedro Munhoz at UFC 292.
But despite the time elapsed since the fight, and the considerable improvements since made by each man, Vera remains confident a rematch goes the same as the first meeting.
“I just keep getting better, keep training, staying in better shape, show up a little faster than I was before, better technique than I had before,” Vera said. “If I can improve a little bit from where I was in the fight before, that’s all I need to be.
“He’s a good fighter. He has the belt right now. But make no mistake, I’m going to kick his ass again.”
And when asked for a prediction of the fight by a fan, Vera was unequivocal about what awaits O’Malley.
“I’m going to put him out before the bell rings,” Vera said. “I guarantee that. He’s a p****.”