Marlon Vera has now put two top-tier bantamweights on his list of victims. But after defeating Rob Font at UFC Vegas 53, he wants another crack at the last man to defeat him: Jose Aldo.
Vera called for a rematch with the former featherweight champ – now a bantamweight contender who’s called for the next shot at champ Aljamain Sterling – at the press conference following his unanimous decision win over Font on Saturday in Las Vegas.
“I would love to fight Aldo again, and especially in a five-rounder, just because he declined a five-rounder when we fought last December,” said Vera, referring to a December 2020 loss to Aldo in the co-headliner of UFC Vegas 17. “I would love to kick his ass, and if we get to match again, I will finish again. I guarantee that.”
Aldo won two of three rounds on all judges scorecards in his meeting with Vera, which marked the first of a three-fight winning streak at 135 pounds capped by a decision over Font in Aldo’s most recent appearance this past December.
Following Sterling’s title unification win over Petr Yan earlier this month, Aldo uncharacteristically called out the champ, who didn’t outright dismiss the idea.
If dominance was measured in damage, Vera unquestionably beat Aldo in a head-to-head comparison of victories over Font. After five rounds, Font’s face was bloodied and heavily swollen after taking several concussive shots that almost produced finishes at the end of Rounds 2 and 3.
“I picked him apart and I hurt him,” Vera said. “I was close to putting him out a couple of times, but you’ve got to be smart in there. Some people get too crazy when they hurt their opponent, and then they gas out. You’ve got to be smart in the long run. … He was talking a little s*** like he was too good, or too technical, so now he sees what’s up.”
Unlike his bout with Aldo, Font missed weight for Saturday’s contest, coming in 2.5 pounds over the non-title bantamweight limit. Vera accepted 20 percent of Font’s purse as a penalty, but he never considered declining the bout.
“Some 35ers should fight at 145, but it seems like they don’t have the balls to do it,” Vera said. “They know how to cut weight, and I don’t have any problem about it, but I do believe big weight cuts is just as equal as cheating, so I’m a guy that keeps my weight at [152, 155 pounds], but it’s because I’m training year-round. If you’re not consistent enough, it will catch up to you one day, and we saw that tonight.”
Although Vera wasn’t able to get the finish he sought, he said he would return to the gym next week and continue to retool his approach for his next opponent. Whether it’s Aldo or another top-ranked opponent, he vowed to get a quicker start next time around.
Vera, however, proved himself the better man against Font and had no doubts the scores would reflect that at the end of 25 minutes.