Marlon “Chito” Vera is ready to remind everyone what it means to be an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) champion.
It’s been a strange ride at Bantamweight since Henry Cejudo retired and vacated the title in May 2020. Aljamain Sterling took the throne shortly after, defeating Petr Yan in a historic fashion, taking an illegal knee that forced a disqualification. The “Funk Master” proved his victory wasn’t a fluke in their rematch, and went on to defeat an injured T.J. Dillashaw this past Oct. 2022 via second-round technical knockout (watch highlights).
Meanwhile, contenders like Vera have been making their presences felt and with Cejudo’s return seemingly inevitable for a Sterling clash, it’s now in question after the champion revealed a torn bicep today (Tues., Jan. 10, 2022). Upset with the situation and stalled divisional progression, Vera took to Twitter after the news stating “We don’t have a champ.”
“I’m going to be a great champion,” Vera told The Underground. “I’m going to fight whoever is next in line. All these guys get the belt, they start acting like b—ches. Get the belt and be a f—king savage. Be a f—king king. Go and do the thing. Defend. Anderson Silva, B.J. Penn, Georges St-Pierre, they did it like that. They got the belt, they fought No. 1. They kicked their asses. That’s why they’re greats now.
“Today’s champions probably won’t be that great because now they’re petty little b—ches that are acting like they’re Hollywood superstars,” he concluded. “Pick a side. You get the money fighting. Jon Jones, all those guys made a lot of money because they fought consistently. They made their legacy huge.”
In Vera’s perfect world, a fifth straight win on Feb. 18 over Cory Sandhagen at UFC Vegas 69 will lead him to a Nov. 2023 Madison Square Garden title bout. If Sterling is out of the equation for an extended period, however, it could either come sooner or later depending on what the promotion wants to do with Cejudo and No. 1-ranked contender, Sean O’Malley. The division last had an interim title in Oct. 2021, but another in such a short period of time is always a possibility.