Former UFC Champ Claims Marlon Vera Only Has 1 Route To Beating Sean O’Malley At UFC 299


As far as Aljamain Sterling sees it, Marlon Vera has one path to winning gold at UFC 299 this weekend.

Vera will challenge Sean O’Malley for the bantamweight title live from Miami, Florida Saturday night inside the Octagon. O’Malley won the belt from Sterling last year.

Related: UFC 299: Sean O’Malley Top-5 Career Moments For “Sugar”

While Vera holds a win in the first encounter with O’Malley, it came after the now-champion suffered an ankle injury.

“O’Malley is the more skilled fighter, 100 percent,” Sterling said (thanks to MMA Junkie for the quotes). “But I just think there’s intangibles. Like someone’s durability, their heart and the cardio aspect.

“People are overlooking (that). I feel like ‘Chito’ has that.”

The 31-year-old Vera is 23-8 overall with 13 of his career bouts going the distance. He went five rounds with Rob Font in 2022 and finished Dominick Cruz in the fourth later that year.

“The only thing I’m concerned about is that I’m hearing through the grapevine (Vera) didn’t really have a great camp,” Sterling said. “I don’t know how true that is. With that said, I’m leaning toward O’Malley to get it done.”

Read More: How to watch UFC 299: Start Time, Date And Location for Sean O’Malley vs. Vera II

O’Malley has finished 13 of his 19 career fights, including a dozen by knockout highlighted by a second round finish of Sterling last year.

“I’m saying this is Francis Ngannou-Derrick Lewis or Rose Namajunas-Carla Esparza 2,” Sterling said. “I think if you’re ‘Chito,’ you fight this (expletive) boring, bro.

“You can’t fight him aggressive and try to be exciting. He’s too good at what he does.”

UFC 299 includes Dustin Poirier vs. Benoit Saint Denis along with Kevin Holland vs. Michael Page.

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