Marlon “Chito” Vera is calling his own shots.
The top of the bantamweight division experienced a shakeup this weekend. The UFC on ESPN 35 event saw two top bantamweight fighters battling it out for top five bragging rights. The main event between Rob Font and Marlon Vera was a five-round battle that saw Vera standing on top at the end of 25 minutes. Vera should be jumping up into the top five of the division with a win over Font, who was the number five fighter on the rankings coming into the weekend.
With his newfound position, Vera is seeking out his next dance partner. He is eyeing the former champion himself, Dominick Cruz.
Dom you always says you looking for someone above ya. 😮 I’m above ya now so wanna fight?
— C H🖕🏽T O🇪🇨V E R A (@chitoveraUFC) May 2, 2022
Vera is responding to an interview Cruz gave with The Schmo in which he states he wants a top-ranked opponent.
“I want to compete against the best. Now the people who are calling me out who are underneath the division, who are calling them out and why are’t they listening to them calling them out who are underneath them?” Cruz said. “Well, because they want to move up. Same thing I want to do, I want to move up. Give me somebody in the top five. Give me an Aldo, give me a Petr Yan, give me an Aljamain Sterling you know what? give me the rematch with Cejudo when he gets his sh-t together.”
Currently, Cruz is sitting in the number seven spot in the rankings. He last fought in December when he won a unanimous decision over Pedro Munhoz. That win put him at two in a row, and although he may need to take a few more fights before he is within title shot contention, as a former champion his name still holds weight. Vera knows this and is looking to make his jump up into title talks with a win over Cruz.
Vera has been on a winning streak himself as well. He has won three in a row over the last year, all three of which earned him performance bonuses.