Marlon Vera, remember that name? He was the fighter who topped Sean O’Malley back in 2020 while the O’Malley express was just taking off. Now, he returns at UFC 292 Saturday night and O’Malley is challenging for the title.
UFC 292: The Return Of Marlon Vera
Three short years ago, it appeared as if Marlon Vera was on his way to the top.
Vera scored a first round finish over Sean O’Malley, halting the express of the top prospect for the time being.
Flash forward to this week and Vera is looking to position himself once again as he opens the UFC 292 main card. O’Malley, meanwhile, fights for the bantamweight title the same night in the main event.
Vera takes on Pedro Munhoz Saturday night from the TD Garden in Boston. The veteran who has fought three former UFC champions and one more title challenger, is coming off a split decision defeat.
Back in 2020, Vera stopped O’Malley in August at UFC 252. A few months later, he lost to former champion Jose Aldo by decision.
That loss, though, didn’t leave him with lingering feelings of doubt. Vera rebounded to reel off four consecutive wins, including two finishes of ex-UFC champs Frankie Edgar and Dominick Cruz.
Both of those wins earned him a “Performance of the Night” bonus around decision victories vs. Rob Font and Davey Grant.
But in March, Vera was on the losing end of a split decision to Cory Sandhagen. And now, he must solve Munhoz to keep his standing in the division.
Munhoz enters off a win over Chris Gutierrez after a no-contest with O’Malley when an eye poke ended the bout in the second round. Prior to that, he lost by decision to both Cruz and Aldo, and has also went the distance with Edgar and Sterling.
In all honesty, this has all the makings of an incredible fight and with the track record of both men, the winner should have a strong case for a title shot or at least be involved in a title-eliminator next.
UFC 292 will also feature a third bantamweight fight, as Da’Mon Blackshear steps in on ultra-short notice to meet Mario Bautista. He is replacing Cody Garbrandt, as the former champion bowed out with an injury.
UFC 292: Marlon Vera’s Greatest Hits