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Marlon Vera questions if Sean O’Malley is worthy of UFC title shot

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Marlon Vera Raises Doubts about Sean O’Malley’s Eligibility for a UFC Title Shot

One person who remains skeptical about Sean O’Malley’s suitability as a contender against bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling is his former adversary, Marlon Vera.

Vera was the first to blemish O’Malley’s professional record when they crossed paths almost three years ago. Although O’Malley managed to bounce back and secure a title opportunity against Sterling at UFC 292, Vera questions his ability to pose a threat to the bantamweight championship.

Vera expressed his opinion on The MMA Hour, emphasizing the importance of considering the fighters’ accomplishments and the caliber of their opponents.

“While I could engage in trash talk and make fun of O’Malley, let’s focus on the facts,” Vera stated. “Looking at their accolades and the opponents they’ve faced, the fight shouldn’t be a problem for Sterling.”

For Vera, the key factor lies in the quality of opposition O’Malley has faced.

“O’Malley can say whatever he wants, but the two top-five fighters who defeated him were myself and Pedro Munhoz,” Vera asserted. “I knocked him out, and when he faced Munhoz, it ended in a no-contest due to an eye poke. He didn’t show anything. When you have the opportunity to fight someone like that, you should try to dominate them.”

“He has taken care of B-level competition, sure. Thomas Almeida was far from his prime, and Eddie Wineland, who deserves respect as a legend, has suffered multiple losses. Then there’s that green-haired kid [Kris Moutinho] who was new to the UFC and wasn’t prepared to fight,” Vera added.

However, most MMA observers would dispute the claim that O’Malley’s recent opponent, Petr Yan, falls into the B-level category. Despite Yan’s three consecutive losses, he was the former UFC bantamweight champion before Sterling, defeating the long-standing featherweight champion, Jose Aldo, to claim the title.

Vera conceded that O’Malley showcased his skills impressively against Aldo but argued that his talents would diminish when faced with top-tier opponents in their prime.

“I understand the hype surrounding O’Malley due to his talent and the social media era we’re in. He has a following of young fans. But when it comes to fighting, he hasn’t truly been tested, and he only got the fight with Yan after a no-contest. Yes, he looked good against Yan, but people had lower expectations,” Vera explained.

“He can still fight, no doubt. But how good is he really? Who has he defeated? Who has he engaged in a tough fight with? Relying solely on one-punch knockouts won’t guarantee lasting success,” Vera pointed out.

Vera was originally scheduled to face former champion Henry Cejudo at UFC 292 following a decision loss to Sterling’s training partner, Merab Dvalishvili. However, Cejudo recently withdrew from the fight due to injury.

When it comes to Sterling vs. O’Malley, Vera clarified that he isn’t supporting the champion, but he doesn’t anticipate a changing of the guard either. In his view, O’Malley’s abilities aren’t sufficient to dethrone Sterling.

“We’ve seen it before with fighters like Johny Hendricks. They have a good streak for three or four fights, but once they encounter superior opponents, it doesn’t happen that easily,” Vera explained. “On paper, it’s hard to envision O’Malley winning. Of course, he could, and that would only benefit me. But I’m not particularly rooting for either of them. We’ll see what happens. I’m ready to fight, no matter what.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about UFC title shot

Is Marlon Vera questioning Sean O’Malley’s ability to compete for a UFC title?

Yes, Marlon Vera has expressed doubts about Sean O’Malley’s suitability as a contender for the UFC title in the bantamweight division.

What are Marlon Vera’s concerns regarding O’Malley’s chances against Aljamain Sterling?

Marlon Vera’s concerns primarily revolve around O’Malley’s lack of top-tier opponents and his reliance on one-punch knockouts. Vera believes that when faced with high-caliber fighters in their prime, O’Malley’s abilities may not hold up.

Has Marlon Vera faced Sean O’Malley before?

Yes, Marlon Vera and Sean O’Malley have previously fought. Vera was the first to tarnish O’Malley’s professional record when they met almost three years ago, with Vera emerging victorious.

What does Marlon Vera consider when evaluating O’Malley’s credentials?

Marlon Vera emphasizes the importance of considering fighters’ accolades, the quality of their opposition, and their performances against top-ranked opponents. He believes these factors are essential in determining O’Malley’s readiness for a title shot.

Does Marlon Vera expect a title change in the fight between Sterling and O’Malley?

While Marlon Vera is not rooting for either fighter, he does not expect the title to change hands. Vera indicates that O’Malley’s skills may not be enough to end Aljamain Sterling’s reign as the bantamweight champion.

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