Marlon Vera: Why a win vs. Jose Aldo gets me a title shot

Ecuador’s Marlon Vera is 6-1 his last seven, ranked #15 in the bantamweight division, and is coming off a TKO win over Sean O’Malley at UFC 252 in August. At UFC on ESPN+ 42 on Saturday, he fights former featherweight champion Jose Aldo, who is coming off a loss to Petr Yan for the then vacant bantamweight belt. At Thursday’s media day, he said a win should earn him a title shot.

“Yeah, 100 percent – that’s the idea of asking for one of these fights,” said Vera to Danny Segura for MMA Junkie in Spanish. “A victory over someone like him, it puts me directly in line to fight for the belt.

“He was coming off a title fight, which on the business end, if I beat someone who’s coming off a title loss, that puts me in line. We asked for him, Edgar or Cruz, and I got him. So I’m happy about the opportunity. I’m prepared, and I can’t wait to do my job.”

“This is the opportunity that you ask for when you win a big fight and you’re in a position to see what you can get. It’s a fight of styles. He’s on his way down, I’m on my way up, and we’re meeting in the middle. He either stays up or I go up, so one of us is going out on top, and I’m hoping that’s me.”

“Not to disrespect anyone, but I don’t see him [like a legend]. For me, he’s just another fighter in front of me, and I can’t fight him looking up. I have to fight him looking into his eyes and moving forward, and that’s it. Looking up is only for God. So for me, there is no great man or impossible challenge.

“I’m ready and prepared, and Saturday we’re going to see what I bring. I’m very prepared, and I have a lot of fight in me.”

Call it UG, who wins the co-main on Saturday night? And if it’s Vera, does that earn him a title shot?

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