San Diego, CA — Marlon Vera has been chasing a fight with Dominick Cruz for some time now, and on Saturday at UFC San Diego, it finally arrives.
The timing could not be better, with Vera (19-7-1) on a high heading into the fight.
“I feel like I’m the best in the world right now, and I can be a world champion on any night,” the bantamweight told media outlets including Cageside Press during Wednesday’s UFC San Diego media day. “So I’m ready to show that Saturday night.”
Cruz has talked about the anger “Chito” Vera has displayed towards him. Vera himself isn’t sure where that’s coming from.
“I don’t f*cking know. I’m not in his mind. But we did a sit-down interview, face-to-face. Did he tell you how mad I was? No,” he said on the subject. “I just speak the truth, I keep it real. I don’t think fighting is a pretty thing, I’m not in here to shake hands or bow to each other. If I wanted that, I would go to any other sport, but I like to fight.”
“I ain’t mad at nobody. I really have no emotions to anybody I ever fought,” Vera added. “But when they give me a contract with a name, and we get locked in a cage, I wanna f*ck you up. Simple.”
Then there’s the claim from Cruz that Vera was “poking” at him when the two were both training at the UFC Performance Institute.
“The UFC offered me not once, but a couple times, like real offers, you’re going to fight Cruz on this date, and I said yes. The same way I said yes to maybe the last 20 guys I fought in the UFC. And he declined, like three times,” Vera recalled. “The reason, I don’t know, I don’t care. So I just make that public. Like ‘hey guys, I got offered a fight, he declined.’ Attack him, or talk shit, f*ck who knows, I’m following Twitter.”
And so when they were at the UFC PI, Vera called him on it. “When I see him face to face, I was like ‘hey if you want to fight, let’s fight.’ I just keep it real,” Vera contiued. “I’m not going to just walk [up] and sucker punch you, I’m not a b*tch. But if you give me the wrong energy, I’m sure we’re fighting.”
Watch the full UFC San Diego media day scrum with Marlon Vera above. The event takes place this Saturday, August 13, 2022 at the Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California.