Coming off his fifth win in a row this past October at UFC on ESPN+ 17, bantamweight Marlon “Chito” Vera was looking to continue his momentum into 2020 when a series of events derailed his year.
First, Vera’s bout with Jimmie Rivera at UFC 247 in February was canceled because of an injury suffered by his opponent, then his next two bouts slated for UFC on ESPN 8 in March and UFC 249 in April were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“At the end of the day, it’s nobody’s fault,” Vera told MMAWeekly.com. “It’s something that’s happening all around the world. It’s not just affecting me, it’s affecting all of the guys.
“It hurts because I put so much into camp. I put everything into winning a fight. I sacrifice every single important thing to win a fight. We have options. I can choose to stay down and feel depressed, or I can choose to keep rising, keep hammering, and finding a way to stay ready and stay in the best shape possible.”
As he navigates the current lockdown situation, Vera maintains focus on his game and what he can do to work on it as best he can to help keep him motivated and moving forward.
“I’m basically training one on one with my coaches, doing a lot of road work and conditioning, and staying as healthy as possible,” said Vera. “I’m staying ready because once things go back to normal, it’s going to go fast, so you better be ready.
“I’m working on a lot of stuff and seeing how I can do this, how I can do that, and now is the time for myself to get better and improve these things. There’s nothing else to do. You don’t want to sit home all day.”
Vera’s positivity is reinforced by the fact that the UFC is pursuing every avenue it can in order to return to business as fast as possible.
“I really admire what Dana (White) is doing,” Vera said. “He’s trying really hard to get it done. That’s how I think. I will try until the end.
“That’s what I always say I will fight until I die, not just in a cage fight, but in life. I will make sure I get it done. It gets me really excited to see Dana and the UFC trying to get things done.”
Never one to back down from a fight, Vera is chomping at the bit to get back to action as quickly as he can against any opposition that’s put in front of him.
“I want to fight,” said Vera. “At this time, I don’t give a f—: good fight or bad fight; good match-up, bad match-up; I don’t care – it’s time to go.
“When everything is normal you want to fight the people ahead of you so you can climb, but right now the world is a mess, so f— it, let’s get in the mess. Small guy, big guy, I don’t give a s—, just make sure we get fights and get things done.”