Category Archives: Marlon Vera

Fast-rising bantamweight Marlon Vera eyes New York to fight alongside 'idol' Georges St-Pierre

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Filed under: News, UFC

Ecuador’s Marlon Vera is the type of fighter who insists he’ll face anyone willing to sign the dotted line. But if he can offer the UFC a little advice on when and where he’d like to compete, “Chito” says UFC 217 in New York sounds just about right.

“I would love to fight in Vegas in a big show someday,” Vera told MMAjunkie. “That’s like the capital. That’s one of my goals – a big fight in Vegas. But also, I saw (Georges St-Pierre) is fighting Nov. 4 in Madison Square Garden. That’s the guy, that’s the reason I’m fighting today.

“That my biggest idol in life, my role model. He’s a guy that doesn’t talk too much, fights well, always looking good, never letting people talk about him doing dumb things. … He’s just a role model for me. It would be a huge dream for me, fighting on the same card.”

While it’s not official just yet, St-Pierre is expected to make his long-awaited comeback at UFC 217, which takes place Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden. There, the former UFC welterweight champ is expected to face current middleweight title holder Michael Bisping for the 185-pound belt.

Vera said he’d be honored to compete at the event, where he would be looking to extend a current three-fight winning streak.

“I just want to keep this momentum going,” Vera said. “I want to keep active. I’m not the type of person that I’m thinking about who I beat before; that’s already gone for me. It’s everything from today to let’s see what happens tomorrow. I want to see who’s next, and I would love to fight one more time this year – even two more times. (Expletive), I’m down.”

Of course, Vera has proven thus far in his UFC career that he’s always willing to step in when asked, so don’t be surprised if you see him before UFC 217.

“You never know – this sport is crazy,” Vera said. “Sometimes, somebody gets injured, and everybody says, ‘Oh, I’m not ready. I’m not ready.’ For me, it’s different. If I’m in the gym, I’m ready.

“At the end of the day, it’s a fist fight. One punch can change everything.”

To hear more from Vera, check out the video above.

And for the latest on UFC 217, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

With help from Marlon Vera, Humberto Bandenay dedicates huge UFC debut to late father

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Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

MEXICO CITY – Humberto Bandenay’s UFC debut was pretty much as good as they get, but it didn’t come without sacrifice.

Bandenay (14-4 MMA, 1-0 UFC) was a huge underdog heading into Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 114 bout against featherweight Martin Bravo (11-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC)  – an understandable status given a short-notice replacement call against an undefeated opponent. Still, it took less than 30 seconds for a knee to have Bravo lying defenseless on the mat (via Twitter):

After dedicating the knockout win to his father, who recently passed away, the 22-year-old Peruvian fighter spoke backstage about the tough decision he had to make before his stellar debut.

“It was one or the other – go back to Peru and see him before he passed away, or live my dream away,(which was) also his dream,” Bandenay said after the FS1-televised main-card bout at Mexico City Arena in Mexico. “Because my dad said, ‘Go live your dream. Don’t come back.’ I have my dad in my heart, and he was today with me in my corner.

“He would be super proud of me. He’s my No. 1 fan, and this victory is for him.”

If Bandenay’s interpreter looks oddly familiar, that could be because you’ve seen him – albeit in much different context – before. He was actually the one being interviewed not that long ago, after scoring his own first-round finish – a UFC on FOX 25 submission of Brian Kelleher.

Ecuador’s Marlon Vera and Bandenay are friends and teammates at California-based Team Oyama, and also exchanged some adorably kind words toward one another during the interview.

To hear more from Bandenay – and the seemingly multi-talented “Chito”– check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 114, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

MMAjunkie's 'Submission of the Month' for July: One of the prettiest transitions you'll see in MMA

With another action-packed month of MMA in the books, MMAjunkie looks at the best submissions from July. Here are the five nominees, listed in chronological order, and winner of MMAjunkie’s “Submission of the Month” award for July.

At the bottom of the post, let us know if we got it right by voting for your choice.

* * * *

The nominees

Tecia Torres def. Juliana Lima at TUF 25 Finale

After going to a decision in nine consecutive fights to open her pro career, Tecia Torres (9-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) finally picked up her first stoppage win when she choked out durable Brazilian Juliana Lima (9-4 MMA, 3-3 UFC)

Torres became the first to tap Lima when she found a way to her opponent’s back early in the second round of the women’s strawweight bout. She secured a rear-naked choke moments later, earning a win without the help of the judges for the first time (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

Jimmy Flick def. Johnny Bedford at LFA 16

UFC veteran Johnny Bedford (23-13-1) was a 5-1 favorite heading into his bantamweight main event, and it made Jimmy Flick’s (10-3) third-round submission win all the sweeter.

Flick, who closed as a +350 underdog to -500 favorite Bedford at the sports books, picked up arguably the biggest win of his career. He threw out a number of submission attempts, and it was finally a D’Arce choke that stuck for the finish (via Twitter):

Marlon Vera def. Brian Kelleher at UFC on FOX 25

After picking up a surprising and quick submission win in his UFC debut earlier this year, Brian Kelleher (17-8 MMA, 1-1 UFC) experienced the other side of the coin when he tapped out early in the first frame of his fight with Marlon Vera (10-3-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC).

In a grappling exchange in the bantamweight bout, Vera transitioned to a slick armbar, which forced Kelleher to tap out, giving Vera his third consecutive victory (via Twitter):

Chris Weidman def. Kelvin Gastelum at UFC on FOX 25

Chris Weidman (14-3 MMA, 10-3 UFC) won’t back down. The former UFC middleweight champion survived a knockdown from Kelvin Gastelum (13-3 MMA, 8-3 UFC) in the opening frame before taking over on the mat, securing an arm triangle at the 3:45 mark of Round 3.

Weidman snapped a three-fight losing skid that had many MMA observers doubting whether he’d be able to keep his UFC job, let alone return to championship form. He did so by becoming the first to stop Gastelum inside the distance (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

Brian Ortega def. Renato Moicano at UFC 214

Brian Ortega (12-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC) and Renato Moicano (11-1-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) were nearly two-and-a-half rounds into a striking war that cageside fans could hear as well as they could see. Then Moicano made the questionable decision to take down Ortega in the featherweight fight.

It played right into Ortega’s submission strengths as Moicano inadvertently stuck his neck into a guillotine choke that Ortega squeezed for the finish, forcing the tap at the 2:59 mark of Round 3 (via Twitter):

* * * *

The winner: Marlon Vera

Marlon Vera

It started out looking like a run-of-the-mill submission defense by Vera, who trapped Kelleher’s arm to stop the single-leg takedown early in the opening round.

It turned into much more.

When Kelleher tried to give up on the takedown, Vera stuck with the kimura trap, using it to transition into a slick armbar that forced the submission at the 2:18 mark of Round 1.

The transition to the armbar was about as smooth a submission as you’re likely to see, and it clearly caught Kelleher off-guard. He started off well, moving to an early takedown attempt with Vera pressed against the cage.

But when Vera reached down to snag Kelleher’s arm in a kimura, it halted Kelleher’s hopes for a takedown and forced him to bail on the move. When he went to back out of the single-leg takedown, however, Vera clamped down harder on his arm, using it to spin him around before spinning himself right into position for the armbar.

Kelleher tried to get his arm back, but by that point, it was too late. Vera already had the limb extended and showed no indication that he was willing to give it back.

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Filed under: AXS TV Fights, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC's Marlon Vera explains awkward exchange that led to (counter?) callout of Brett Johns

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Filed under: News, UFC

After adding a third win to his streak with the submission of Brian Kelleher at UFC on FOX 25, Marlon Vera gave two names he’d like to meet: Jimmie Rivera and Brett Johns.

Following the preliminary card scrap with Kelleher (17-8 MMA, 1-1 UFC), Vera (10-3-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC) pointed to Rivera backing out of an agreed-to UFC Fight Night 103 meeting as motivation behind the callout. Rivera, however, went on to win his main card bout with Thomas Almeida a few hours after that – and, in the process, made a pair of high-profile callouts of his own.

While Vera would like that fight, he can totally understand why Rivera would rather make a title bid. Which leaves us with Johns (14-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC). Why target specifically a man who, though undefeated, has only two fights on his record?

Vera explains the whole story. (In the video above, Vera talked about Rivera and Johns immediately after his UFC on FOX 25 win; he expanded on the story to MMAjunkie Radio.) Spoiler alert: there’s beef.

It began in March after UFC Fight Night 107. Vera had just scored a major TKO win over Brad Pickett. Johns was supposed to have fought that night but was left without an opponent after Ian Entwistle was ruled out at the last minute due to medical reasons.

“We were in the hotel drinking some beers and chilling a little,” Vera told MMAjunkie Radio. “I went to him – I don’t know him at all. I just went to him. I was like, ‘Hey, man, I’m really sorry about what happened in your fight. You don’t get the chance to fight, and I hope you get something in the future. Best of wishes.’

“I was so happy, so I was spreading my good energy to a guy who was down that night because his opponent got sick or whatever. And, literally, after I told him that, he was like, ‘Thank you. But you know what, I would like to fight you.’”

Vera, understandably, was a bit thrown off. After all, as someone who would “cry like a little girl” should he lose an opponent in the high-emotion window so close to a fight, he was just trying to sympathize with his fellow bantamweight’s pain.

“In my head, I was like, ‘(Expletive), I’m giving you some love, and you told me that right now in my face?’” Vera said. “I was just making a little bit of fun. Also I had some beers on my head, so I was like, ‘OK, let’s fight right now.’ And I just left.”

After that, “Chito” says he headed back to his table and shared – between laughs, he adds – what happened with his manager. He imagines either Johns himself or a friend saw that, because the Welsh fighter would go on to talk publicly about how Vera was “talking (expletive)” about him.

“And I was like, ‘OK, you’re not a bad guy for calling me out after that,” Vera said. “You’re a (expletive) for switching all the things in the media.”

While seemingly a little baffled, Vera is not particularly peeved by the situation. If anything, he believes getting called out makes his manager’s job a lot easier. And though Vera and Johns went on to beat different opponents since – Kelleher and Albert Morales, respectively – the Ecuadorian would still welcome the chance of settling their score.

But if that doesn’t happen, you know the drill when it comes to Vera – he is game to fight anyone, anytime, anywhere.

“I just want to fight one more time this year,” Vera said. “If everything goes right, we can put a short-notice at the end of the day. But I really would take whatever the UFC wants to give me. I feel I’m ready to start camp in a week.”

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 25, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Stream or download MMAjunkie Radio #2496 with Eryk Anders and Marlon Vera

Stream or download Monday’s episode of MMAjunkie Radio with guests Eryk Anders and Marlon Vera.

Both fighters competed at UFC on FOX 25 this past Saturday. Anders had a first-round knockout of Rafael Natal in his UFC debut and talked about hearing from his former Alabama football teammates after. Vera scored a first-round submission of Brian Kelleher and spoke about wanting Brett Johns next after an exchange in the host hotel post UFC Fight Night 107.

You can listen below or download the episode from SoundCloud.

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

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with UFC on FOX 25's Eryk Anders, Marlon Vera

Filed under: News, UFC, Videos

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Eryk Anders and Marlon Vera.

Both fighters picked up big wins this past Saturday night at UFC on FOX 25 in Uniondale, N.Y. Anders, in his UFC debut, knocked out Rafael Natal in the first round. Vera submitted Brian Kelleher with a first-round armbar for his third straight win.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

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

UFC on FOX 25's Marlon Vera game to fight anyone, but has unfinished business with Jimmie Rivera

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Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – UFC bantamweight Marlon Vera has made it abundantly clear that he’ll fight anybody, anywhere, at any time.

The fact that he’s now riding a three-fight streak following a first-round submission of Brian Kelleher (17-8 MMA, 1-1 UFC) at Saturday’s UFC on FOX 25 hasn’t changed that. But Vera (10-3-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC) does see the logic in solving some unfinished business with a contender who’d later come out victorious of his own UFC on FOX 25 scrap.

In January, Jimmie Rivera (21-1 MMA, 5-0 UFC) had agreed to Vera as a substitute when Bryan Caraway pulled out of a UFC Fight Night 103 appointment. Rivera, however, later changed his mind, saying that he didn’t want to “look like a bully” and get in the way of the Ecuadorian fighter making money to help his daughter get surgery.

It seems like Vera – who actually called for the winner of  Rivera vs. Thomas Almeida before that fight took place – didn’t really buy it.

“It was really tough for me, because I cut 15 pounds in two days for that fight,” Vera said after his preliminary card bantamweight scrap, which streamed live on UFC Fight Pass from NYCB LIVE at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. “I went to the gym, and to the sauna, because I was super motivated to fight a top guy. And I was expecting respect from him, and he just said, ‘Oh, I don’t want to hurt him.’

“And then what pissed me off is the said, ‘I don’t want to fight him, because if I beat him, he’s not going to be able to help his daughter.’ And in my mind, I was like, ‘You don’t have a brain. Because if you beat me, I cash a check. So I’m still making something.’ That’s what pissed me off. I’ve got nothing against him, but when he says things like that, he makes no sense at all.”

As evidenced by the double call-out of ex-135-pound-champs T.J. Dillashaw and Dominick Cruz right after his perfect display over Almeida, Rivera already has his sights somewhere else. But, in any case, it’s not like Vera is going to be too heartbroken if that matchup doesn’t happen.

Another option, “Chito” says, is undefeated bantamweight Brett Johns (14-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) – who recently scored a dominant UFC Fight Night 113 decision over Albert Morales. After the win, the Welshman said he was coming off what was virtually a 20-week camp and wasn’t planning on fighting again until December.

“Whatever the UFC wants to give me,” Vera said. “If I get that Rivera fight, cool. If I get that kid from Europe, cool. If I get somebody else, I don’t care. We’ll fight anybody; you guys know that.”

But don’t take Vera’s willingness to accept any challenge as a sign of lack of ambition. Confident that his game is getting better with each fight, the Team Oyama fighter says he’ll be back to the gym on Monday looking to keep making his path toward the top.

“I want to give my country a champion one day, so I’m working on that,” Vera said.

To hear from Vera, check out the video above.

And for complete coverage of UFC on FOX 25, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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

UFC on FOX 25 results: Marlon Vera's defense leads to slick armbar submission of Brian Kelleher

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It started out looking like a run-of-the-mill submission defense by Marlon Vera, who trapped Brian Kelleher’s arm to stop the single leg early in the opening round.

It turned into much more.

When Kelleher (17-8 MMA, 1-1 UFC) tried to give up on the takedown, Vera (10-3-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC) stuck with the kimura trap, using it to transition into a slick armbar that forced the submission at the 2:18 mark of Round 1.

The bantamweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC on FOX 25 event at NYCB LIVE at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass ahead of the rest of the card on FOX.

The transition to the armbar was about as smooth a submission as you’re likely to see, and it clearly caught Kelleher off-guard. He started off well, moving to an early takedown attempt with Vera pressed against the cage.

But when Vera reached down to snag Kelleher’s arm in a kimura, it halted Kelleher’s hopes for a takedown and forced him to bail on the move. When he went to back out of the single-leg, however, Vera clamped down harder on his arm, using it to spin him around before spinning himself right into position for the armbar.

Kelleher tried to get his arm back, but by that point it was too late. Vera already had the limb extended and showed no indication that he was willing to give it back until Kelleher tapped, which he was quickly forced to do.

The win makes it three in a row in the UFC for Vera. Kelleher’s loss snaps a seven-fight wining streak overall.

Up-to-the-minute UFC on FOX 25 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 25, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Matt Erickson contributed to this report on site in New York.)

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Marlon Vera reflects on road from Ecuador to octagon: 'Probably, God put me in this world for this'

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UFC bantamweight Marlon Vera was in high school when he decided he wanted to be a professional fighter.

Vera’s story is not that unusual. As a kid, he liked getting into fights. One day, a friend showed him a PRIDE tape. Vera got curious. Some basic Internet research led to him finding out about the now-extinct WEC, the UFC and all those people who were apparently getting paid to do what he was already doing for free.

“And then I was like, ‘Well, this is a profession,’” Vera told MMAjunkie. “So If I really like to fight, why don’t I train?”

So he started jiu-jitsu. Then striking. Then wrestling. When it came time to make a call about his future, Vera just knew.

“Fighting was always first for me, I don’t know why,” Vera said. “Nobody in my family is a fighter. Nobody in my family trains. But I don’t know, I was born with that. Probably, God put me in this world for this – to be a world champion someday.

“I don’t know why I like this. Nobody in my family was a street fighter, nobody was a gangster. So I really don’t know why.”

After making his pro debut while still in high school, Vera didn’t really see himself spending more years sitting on a chair getting told things in exchange for paper that would deem him a professional. Education, he thought, didn’t need to take place inside a classroom. So, instead of college, he chose fighting.

“I just put all of myself into it, and that’s how things happen,” Vera said. “I believe that.”

His family wasn’t exactly thrilled at first. After all, not only did professional fighting seem oddly convenient for someone with a penchant for “being a punk” and getting in trouble, but MMA wasn’t exactly a mainstream thing in soccer-dominated Ecuador.

But then the results started showing. With them came the interviews, the attention, the international recognition. And now, as “The Ultimate Fighter” alum prepares to make his sixth UFC appearance, it’s not just his family that has gotten behind him.

“My biggest dream is to keep winning fights and headline in Ecuador,” Vera said. “That’s going to be dope. Every time I’m fighting, the country gets wild. They put huge TVs on the street. They do big things, my family throws parties.

“If I’m running in the street, people yell nice things from cars. I like the vibes. Latin American people, they recognize when you do something good. They’re happy, and they’re proud. ”

Vera has accomplished one major goal already: making his father proud. But there’s one missed opportunity he still laments.

“I wish my grandpa was healthy enough to watch my fights,” Vera said. “That was a tough man before. He was into rooster fights. I’m pretty sure if his brain was healthy today, he would be yelling at the TV. That’s one of my biggest things, because I’m pretty sure he was supposed to be the biggest fan. He isn’t able to do much. But it’s OK. At least my dad can enjoy it.”

‘It was really hard doing everything by myself and being without my kids’

Now, fighting is what helps the 24-year-old father of two support his own family. And he’s been doing quite well at it, too. After a rocky UFC start, Vera managed to put together his first octagon streak with a comeback TKO over Brad Pickett at UFC Fight Night 107 in March.

The momentum Vera (9-3-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC) rides as he heads into tonight’s UFC on FOX 25 scrap with Brian Kelleher (17-7 MMA, 1-0 UFC) can be attributed to different factors. When he first started his UFC run, for instance, he was still living in Ecuador – where he had neither the proper conditions nor the right people to guide him.

“I think that I was fighting with a lot of heart, but there was not much of a strategy,” Vera said.

Now, with California’s Team Oyama, that is no longer the case. “Chito” has finally got the proper tools to go with his grit. But once again, Vera’s true source of inspiration can be traced back to one key thing: family. More specifically, the wife, daughter and son he was only recently able to move from Ecuador.

“After my fight in Australia (Vera beat Guangyou Ning at UFC Fight Night 101), I made some money,” Vera said. “So I brought them here. It was really hard, doing everything by myself and being without my kids. Now, everything is together. It’s all just motivation and happiness in my life. That’s why I can go and fight, no problem. I know how to fight, but if my mind is not correct, I can’t do the right things.

“My family is with me. My kids are happy. I just go in there and have fun. Fighting is fun for me. I started fighting because I liked to do it. Nobody starts fighting because of the fame and the money. My family is good. That’s why I’m fighting like that today.”

Vera, for one, seems quite adapted to life in the United States. His English, considering someone who’s lived in Ecuador for most of his life, is noticeably sharp. Part of the credit for that, Vera says, goes to the English-teaching system in Ecuadorian schools.

But he also knew as soon as he decided to be a fighter that he’d need to express himself. And he didn’t want to need a translator to do that.

“You’ve got to think about business, too,” Vera said. “You need the fans. So I started putting a lot of English on myself, like reading magazines in English, getting some apps. And also asking everybody what this or that means.

“And I feel my English is getting better all the time. It’s not just about punching people in the face. My dad says, ‘If you only put food in your muscles, you’ll be a muscle-head. You’ve got to put food in your brain if you want to do good in life.’”

‘You earn it by kicking ass and shutting your mouth’

Doing well hasn’t been a problem for Vera, who’s not only coming off his biggest UFC win yet, but earned a “Performance of the Night” bonus for it. The result meant yet another risk paid off as he chose to take on Pickett in the Brit’s retirement fight, in front of his home crowd, on nine days notice.

Vera’s approach to matchmaking is pretty simple: The UFC offers, he says yes. Which is why he didn’t hesitate to take on Kelleher, who enters the octagon fresh off his upset submission of Iuri Alcantara in Brazil. Riding a seven-fight streak but with only a single UFC fight, Kelleher offers a textbook high-risk-low-reward scenario for octagon veterans.

Vera doesn’t think Kelleher is easy prey. He’s not foreseeing an easy paycheck. He’s simply made it known to UFC matchmakers that whenever there’s a fight available – whether it’s at 135 or 145 pounds, whether it’s tomorrow or a month from now – he’ll take it.

“Sometimes people get weird about it, like ‘He only has one fight in the UFC, and I want a bigger fighter,’” Vera said. “People don’t understand that one punch can finish the fight. Or one guillotine, like his last fight, can finish the fight. I think people trip out a lot about these things. I really don’t care who they put in front of me.

“If they call me – one day, a couple of hours notice, I’ll be ready to fight. Kelleher is just one more fighter. Last fight was Pickett, this fight is Kelleher. Next time? I don’t know.”

Being up for any challenge has its advantages: more frequent fights and some good will with the bosses and fans, for instance. But at the same time, it can be tricky when you’re trying to build a path toward a UFC title.

Would Vera like to be champ one day? Of course. But he believes it can happen on his own terms.

“I feel if I beat this guy, I’m probably cracking the rankings,” Vera said. “If I do, cool. If not, I don’t even care. I’ll just move forward to the next fight. I’m the only fighter from Ecuador. The math is easy. If I start doing good, they need to build the viewers in Latin America. So why can’t I get a title shot? I know I can speak. I know I have a good personality. I have to let them know. It doesn’t come on its own.

“I think everything is just destiny and also the destiny you create. Some people are in a win streak, and they talk so much about how much they deserve a title. And the company doesn’t like that. There’s no boss in the world who likes that you’re begging for something.

“You have to earn it. How you earn it? You earn it by kicking ass and shutting your mouth.”

For more on UFC on FOX 25, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

After UFC 212 win and pissing off Brazil, Brian Kelleher set for UFC on FOX 25

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Filed under: News, UFC

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After pissing off Brazilian fans and scoring a big upset win at UFC 212, Brian Kelleher (17-7 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is getting a fight closer to home.

Kelleher is slated to fight fellow bantamweight Marlon Vera (9-3-1 MMA, 3-2 UFC) at UFC on FOX 25.

UFC officials announced the fight via newsday.com.

UFC on FOX 25 takes place July 22 at NYCB LIVE in Uniondale, N.Y., on Long Island. The card airs on FOX following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass, though the bout order hasn’t been finalized.

Kelleher, a 30-year-old New Yorker, upset top-15 vet Iuri Alcantara (34-8 MMA, 9-3 UFC) via first-round submission this past Saturday at UFC 212 – and then ignited the Rio de Janeiro crowd with a fiery post-fight interview (watch him discuss it above). It marked his seventh straight win.

Vera, a 31-year-old Ecuadorian fighter, lost his UFC debut to Marco Beltran. However, “Chito,” who joined the UFC after appearing on “The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America,” is 3-1 since then. He recently spoiled Brad Pickett’s retirement fight with an upset victory and his second career “Performance of the Night” bonus.

The latest UFC on FOX 25 card includes:

  • Chris Weidman vs. Kelvin Gastelum
  • Thomas Almeida vs. Jimmie Rivera
  • Patrick Cummins vs. Gian Villante
  • Ryan LaFlare vs. Alex Oliveira
  • Lyman Good vs. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos
  • Frankie Perez vs. Chris Wade
  • Dennis Bermudez vs. Darren Elkins
  • Shane Burgos vs. Godofredo Pepey
  • Kyle Bochniak vs. Jeremy Kennedy
  • Christian Colombo vs. Damian Grabowski
  • Alessio Di Chirico vs. Rafael Natal
  • Junior Albini vs. Timothy Johnson
  • Brian Kelleher vs. Marlon Vera

For more on UFC on FOX 25, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie