UFC Fight Night 119's Marlon Vera wants to fight in Las Vegas, but will detour for John Lineker


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UFC bantamweight Marlon Vera says it all the time – sign him up for a fight in Las Vegas.

That, or Madison Square Garden. Fight at those places, and there’s no mistaking you’ve hit the big time.

For now, Vera (10-3-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC) heads to a decidedly less hospitable locale for his next job: A fight with No. 9 bantamweight John Lineker (29-8 MMA, 10-3 UFC) in Brazil.

Until very recently, Vera wasn’t booked for a fight. Then he wound up stepping in between Lineker and Bryan Caraway (21-7 MMA, 6-2 UFC), who were bickering incessantly about a fight in December, to take on Lineker at UFC Fight Night 119.

It’s a big step up for Vera, who’s won his past three but has yet to face a fighter of Lineker’s caliber, much less in his own country.

“I’m pretty sure not many guys want to go to Brazil to fight him,” Vera told MMAjunkie Radio. “But for me, he’s just another opponent. I respect him as a person, but as a fighter, I will treat him the same way I treat other guys and do my best to beat him.”

The two open the FS1-televised main card of the event on Oct. 28 at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo.

Vera recently traveled to Las Vegas to give himself a leg up by working with the specialists at the UFC’s Performance Institute and training with his jiu-jitsu coach at 10th planet.

“I’m really excited to see the place, because I hear they have everything there,” he said of the UFC’s facility. “I want to see how much we can take advantage of it, learning how to be better as an athlete.”

A trip to Sin City reminds him of how close he is to fulfilling his dream of headlining a major fight card. He’s already adorning billboards in his native Ecuador. If he can beat Lineker, it might not be long before the same happens in Las Vegas.

“For me, it’s a dream to fight on a big card here, but I’m not in a rush,” he said. “I’m getting big opportunities. I’m fighting tough fights. Definitely I want to fight here after this one.”

At the same time, Vera knows it’s best to be patient. Sometimes, you take detours before your big shot. Lineker is one of those.

“If they want to send me to China, that’s no problem,” he said. “For me, a fight is a fight, whether it’s a big card or small card. It’s still the best show in the world. I just take anything they give me. I don’t complain about that.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

John Lineker meets Marlon Vera at UFC Fight Night 119 in Sao Paulo

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John Lineker has got himself a bantamweight booking. And, surprisingly enough, it’s not with Bryan Caraway.

Instead, Brazil’s Lineker (29-8 MMA, 10-3 UFC) meets Ecuadorian Marlon Vera (10-3-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC) at UFC Fight Night 119, which takes place on Oct. 28 at Ibirapuera Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

The matchup was first reported by Combate.com and later confirmed by MMAjunkie with Lineker’s camp.

Vera also confirmed it on his Twitter account:

The event airs on FS1 following prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the full fight card and bout order haven’t been finalized.

The booking comes after weeks of Twitter back-and-forth between Lineker and Caraway. Vera, in turn, has most recently issued callouts to Jimmie Rivera and Brett Johns, but he made his willingness to meet anyone, at any time, abundantly clear.

Lineker hasn’t fought since December 2016, when he dropped a unanimous decision to former champion T.J. Dillashaw. Before that, the heavy-hitter was riding six consecutive wins, including recent ones over Michael McDonald and John Dodson.

While Lineker’s UFC run has been mostly victorious, it’s also been plagued by failures to make weight – multiple times at flyweight and once since he’s moved up to 135. He’s currently ranked No. 9 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA bantamweight rankings.

The unranked Vera, in turn, has been on a quite a roll: He’s currently riding a three-fight winning streak capped off by finishes over Brad Pickett and Brian Kelleher. At 24, the California-based Ecuadorian has been known to hop on short-notice opportunities – even overseas ones.

The latest UFC Fight Night 119 card now includes:

  • Lyoto Machida vs. Derek Brunson
  • Colby Covington vs. Demian Maia
  • Jarred Brooks vs. Deiveson Figueiredo
  • Augusto Mendes vs. Boston Salmon
  • Christian Colombo vs. Carlos Felipe
  • Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Jack Marshman
  • Jack Hermansson vs. Thiago “Marreta” Santos
  • Rob Font vs. Pedro Munhoz
  • Hacran Dias vs. Jared Gordon
  • Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos vs. Max Griffin
  • Niko Price vs. Luan Chagas
  • John Lineker vs. Marlon Vera

For more on UFC Fight Night 119, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie