Aljamain Sterling Accused of Cheating by Marlon Vera Ahead of UFC 280 Fight
Marlon Vera has accused Aljamain Sterling of cheating in their upcoming UFC 280 fight. Sterling is known for losing a significant amount of weight in order to meet the 135-pound weight limit for bantamweight fights. After his last title defense, Sterling admitted to gaining back 40 pounds in the week following the fight. While this kind of weight fluctuation is allowed under the Unified Rules of MMA, Vera believes it goes against the spirit of the sport. Vera thinks that Sterling is trying to gain an unfair advantage by cutting so much weight and then regaining it before the fight. He also thinks that Sterling’s weight loss may have contributed to him being knocked unconscious in previous fights.
Sterling’s weight has become a topic of conversation as the UFC attempts to determine a timeline and contender for the next bantamweight title defense. Sterling has even hinted at a possible move up to the 145-pound weight class in the future. At the moment, it looks like former champion Henry Cejudo will be the next contender for the title, leaving Vera as the odd man out. Instead, Vera will now face Cory Sandhagen in the main event of a Fight Night card on Feb. 18 in Las Vegas. Currently ranked No. 4 in the world by the UFC, Vera believes that a win over the No. 5-ranked Sandhagen will finally earn him the title shot he has been seeking, regardless of what happens in the rest of the division.
“Cutting that much weight is cheating to me, You’re kind of a pussy if you cut that much weight, because you want to be bigger and stronger. Because he really doesn’t hurt nobody, but he makes you carry his weight, takes you down. I’m 155 pounds in or out of camp. I feel like that’s a natural 135-pounder, and I’m still thinking I cut a shitload of weight, because 20 pounds is a lot. That motherfucker weighs like 170, 180 pounds when he’s eating fucking God knows what. Yeah, you can make the weight but that’s why he’s been KOed unconscious, because of the amount of weight he cuts. If you touch him, he might go down.”
Vera has had a successful run recently, with four straight victories since losing to Jose Aldo in 2020. These victories include highlight reel head kick knockouts of Frankie Edgar and Dominick Cruz. However, there are currently a lot of contenders at the top of the bantamweight ranks, including Cejudo, Sean O’Malley, and Merab Dvalishvili, which has made it difficult for Vera to get a shot at the title. Vera believes that the best way to solve this problem is for the contenders to simply fight it out to determine the next challenger, rather than waiting for their turn at the title.
Vera also talked about his experience and how it has helped him improve as a fighter. He said that he is getting calmer in the octagon and making better decisions, which has contributed to his recent success. Vera also mentioned that he is more focused on his diet and training, which has helped him perform better in his fights. Despite the challenges he has faced in his career, Vera remains positive and is determined to keep working hard to achieve his goals.