TAMPA, Fla. – Marlon Vera has one of the longest winning streaks in the UFC bantamweight division, but he still struggles to be picky about the type of fights he gets.
That’s evident by his situation at UFC on ESPN+ 19, where Vera (14-5-1 MMA, 8-4 UFC) is scheduled to kick off the card in a matchup with Andre Ewell (14-6 MMA, 2-1 UFC).
It’s likely that Vera could’ve held out for a bigger name or fight given his recent success, but he said the passion to compete overcame him. He idolizes fan favorite Donald Cerrone in that sense, and while he would like to model his career after “Cowboy,” he said he must avoid his errors, too.
“Sometimes I can learn from ‘Cowboy’ because sometimes he takes fights he shouldn’t take,” Vera told MMA Junkie on Wednesday. “Tony (Ferguson) and (Justin) Gaethje back to back? You don’t fight two dogs like that back to back. Fight one of them, fight someone else, then fight again. But back to back? It’s not smart. But that’s why ‘Cowboy’ is ‘Cowboy.’ I love the guy. Since I’m younger and newer I try to take the best of him and when he makes mistakes, I won’t repeat them.”
Vera said he doesn’t believe fighting at UFC on ESPN+ 19, which takes place at Amalie Arena and streams on ESPN+, was a mistake. He said Tampa is a convenient location for friends, family and fans from Ecuador to come watch him fight, and that’s a massive motivation to compete against Ewell.
To hear more from Vera talking about his goals, matchup with Ewell, potential fights with Jimmie Rivera and Petr Yan, watch the video above.