Marlon “Chito” Vera put on one hell of a show when he faced off against Dominic Cruz in the UFC Octagon at UFC San Diego over the former champion with a vicious Knockout of the former Bantamweight champion. Vera has many options at 135 in our opinion. In this piece we’re going over the matchups that make sense for the rising Bantamweight. It all depends on who wins matchups at the top of the division in coming months.
The first fight I think that makes sense for Vera is the winner of the matchup between Petr Yan & Sean O’Malley. Yan is a striking master with a background in Boxing and Muay Thai the former Champion has been training hard since his title bout that he lost against current champ Aljamain Sterling. The Yan O’Malley matchup doesn’t really make sense but a matchup between Vera and Yan would definitely make more sense. As would a rematch between Vera and O’Malley the pair definitely have unfinished business.
Jose Aldo faces off against Merab Dvalishvili at UFC 278. I think the winner of that matchup would also make sense for Vera. Aldo is one of the best fighters in the lower weight classes in UFC history with 7 title defenses of his 145 pound belt. Vera could be an interesting matchup for Aldo because they both can Grapple, but both have striking games so it’d be interesting to see where the fight would end up. Dvalishvili is a black belt in Judo, but the majority of his wins come from the Judges so it would be cool to see Vera try to Submit or Knockout the Georgian.
One matchup I really like for vera is Cory Sandhagen. Sandhagen has an impressive 14-4 I think Sandhagens striking and grappling would be put to the test with Vera. as Chito can go toe to toe and I think the grappling exchanges would go in Vera’s direction I want to see this matchup. But it all depends on Sandhagen’s next performance when he faces off against Song Yadong who is a really tough matchup for the 135er but I think Vera vs Sandhagen is really the fight to make if the matchups above don’t work out.
I’m super excited to see who Vera takes on next as he is definitely on his way to a title fight.
With an impressive 12-4 record T.J. Dillishaw has been to the pinnacle to the pit in terms of MMA and has climbed to the cusp of the top again and many think Dillishaw should get the next title shot in the UFC Bantamweight Division. He definitely has an amazing redemption story and I’m glad he is back fighting in the UFC beating top level competition like Cory Sandhagen.
Dillashaw was born February 7, 1986 in Sonora, California. Dillishaw would grow up in Angels Camp, CA where he’d attend Bret Harte High School. While in High School Dillashaw would wrestle under Coach Jan Schulz. He was a standout in wrestling with a record of 170–33. He’d go on to wrestle in College at Cal State Fullerton. After college Dillishaw turned his focus towards MMA. He’d start striking and training Jiu Jitsu to add to his wrestling he’d achieve a Black belt in Bang Muay Thai under Duane Ludwig and a Purple Belt in Jiu Jitsu under Philipe “Furão” Della Monica
Dillishaw would make his professional debut against Czar Sklavos winning the bout by Unanimous Decision. He would then face off against Brandon Drucker in May of 2010 winning the bout by Submission (rear-naked choke.) Mike Suarez would be next for Dillishaw he’d win the bout again by rear-naked choke. Taylor McCorriston would be next for young Dillishaw winning the bout by TKO (punches.) The Ultimate Fighter: Team Bisping vs. Team Miller would be next for Dillishaw on the show he secured three victories, but ultimately lost to John Dodson in the finale.
Dillishaw’s Next fight would be against Walel Watson in Febuary of 2012 he’d win the bout via Unanimous Decision. He’d then get his first Submission victory against Vaughn Lee winning by a Neck Crank. He’d then get back to back Knockout victories against Issei Tamura and Hugo Viana. Raphael Assunção would be next for Dillishaw in October of 2013, unfortunately for Dillishaw he lost the tough Split Decision. He’d then fight Mike Easton in January of 2014 winning the three round bout by Unanimous Decision.
Dillishaw would win the UFC Bantamweight title in his next bout when he faced off against Renan Barão at UFC 173 in May of 2014. He’d defend the belt twice the first successful title defense was against Joe Soto at UFC 177 his second successful defense was a rematch against Renan Barão. He’d then lose his belt to Dominick Cruz losing on the judges scorecard in a Split Decision. Dillishaw would win his next two fights against Raphael Assunção and John Lineker.
Dillishaw would then face Cody Garbrandt at UFC 217 for the UFC Bantamweight title he’d win the bout and the belt and would face Garbrandt again in his next outing securing his title defense. Dillishaw would then make his Flyweight debut against Henry Cejudo For the UFC Flyweight Championship he’d lose the fight by TKO. Dillashaw would get popped though as he tested positive in pre and post-fight drug screening for erythropoietin. Cory Sandhagen would be his comeback fight on July 24, 2021 Dillishaw would win the five round contest by Split Decision