UFC San Diego: Marlon Vera’s Coach Showed Him KO Opening, “Just Keep Working”

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San Diego, CA – After taking some time to digest his main event win at UFC San Diego bantamweight Marlon “Chito” Vera spoke about the TKO win over Dominick Cruz on Saturday night.

“I always like to kind of like let it digest. I appreciate the moment, enjoy it with my family, my friends, with my team and just know that everything I did leading to this fight just paid off. Hard work, staying consistent, staying focused, don’t be f*cking around like an idiot you just be consistent,” Vera told Cageside Press among other media at his post-fight scrum.

“This is the best years of my life ahead of me right now. Why don’t be all in, you know? Now’s my time. I’ve been calling it.”

Vera (20-7) defeated former 2-time bantamweight champion Cruz with a perfectly placed head kick in round 4 of their main event bout.

Earlier in the fight Vera was able to drop Cruz with jabs and right hands that landed right on the button and put the former champion on the canvas if even for just a moment. Cruz showed the ability to get back to his feet quickly until the final head kick ended his night.

Even if Vera had the power advantage Cruz showed he had the upper hand in the speed and volume department.

“I was just being patient. I was taking my time. When I dropped him I didn’t went crazy. I didn’t try to chase the finish. I never chase the finish. I don’t have any problems standing in front of you and finding those openings,” Vera said.

Vera’s head kick was so well placed that many believed that was the plan the entire camp. “Chito” revealed the origin of that opening.

“Like 6 days ago my coach (Jason Perillo) sent me a picture. Just a screenshot of (Pedro) Munhoz kicking him in the body and his head was dipping. And he didn’t say anything. I saw it and I was like ok. We just have a good connection, I know what you’re talking about. In the third round, in between he told me, punch in the air, have him dip, and throw a haymaker. I listened,” said Vera.

The knockout performance turned Vera into the first bantamweight in UFC history with double-digit finishes.

“I just think it’s really cool to get this far having those records. When I was 14-years-old in Ecuador I was just telling everybody ‘I want to be a UFC fighter. I want to be a world champion. I want to move to the US and train with a real gym’. Looking back everything looked like a fantasy back then,” he said.

“No one knew I was being for real. That is really my dream and now that I’m living it I’m f*cking happy. I’m very happy with myself, I’m very happy with the people I have around me and I just can’t wait to see what’s next.”

Most fighters coming off a finish like the one Vera had at UFC San Diego would be demanding a title shot next, but “Chito” has kept that laid back mindset when dealing with a possible shot at gold.

“Just really don’t giving a f*ck about things you cannot control. I don’t train when I have a fight. I train year-round. I get it sometimes the UFC kind of pick a guy, but we’re self contractors. They don’t work for us, we don’t work for them. They just pick who’s the best to give the best show. I don’t mind working like that. I know for a matter of fact they like me so why be trippin’ when you know everything’s going to come your way,” Vera said.

“Just keep working.”

Watch the entire post-fight media scrum with Marlon “Chito” Vera above.

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