Marlon Vera ‘1000 Percent’ Respects Dominick Cruz, But Backs Up Comments About His Style: ‘He Wasn’t Talking Shit’

Marlon Vera wants to clarify his “low level” comments about Dominick Cruz.

Last Saturday, Vera knocked out Cruz in the fourth round of the main event of UFC San Diego. Later, “Chito” said that Cruz’s style was “very low level” and “not the best style for MMA”, drawing the ire of some who felt that Vera was adding salt to the wound of her downed foe. . Although that was not his intention.

Speaking with Ariel Helwani on MMA timeVera made it clear that she stands by what she said, but that she has a lot of respect for Cruz.

“I respect him, 1,000 percent, for what he did,” Vera said. “I said this at the press conference: He made bantamweight great. He was the name that brought up the bantamweights. When he was the champion and he was fighting other people, he was fighting well, guys. He was a great guy, making a name for himself for the division, and I think [he’s] the reason why there is a big gap between 125 and 135 in terms of names. Because he was the WEC champion, he came to the UFC and got the belt. Even when he was injured over the years, no one forgot him. He comes back, he did what he did against [Takeya] Mizugaki, who was fucking phenomenal, then again fucking broke something, comes back and beats TJ. [Dillashaw]. That is fucking amazing. But I can’t bring any of these emotions or respect once we’re fighting.

“I’m going to explain a little bit when I say low level. Speaking of fighting techniques, it doesn’t matter what your style is. We have a guy like Israel Adesanya, he’s very flashy, he’s very technical, but he has a really solid base. His technique is sharp as shit, but it’s really eye-catching. With Dominick, the… movement that he does, me and my coaches, we think is a low level style to do MMA. It is only our opinion. It’s not a fact, but maybe we’ll prove it by the way we finished it. But he wasn’t talking shit like he sucks. I don’t think he sucks. They are the movements that we don’t think work for MMA, because there are kicks, elbows, knees. There is so much more you can come across. Yeah, you do a little trick, sure, but he doesn’t have a good base.

“When I say good foundation, I mean proper foundation,” Vera continued. “Throw good combos, move well, move your feet properly, instead of just going crazy back and forth [movement]. It makes it a bit more difficult, but it’s not technical or correct for us. That is an opinion. Yeah, I said it like that and I mean, it sounds kind of fucked up, it sounds like I’m talking shit. She wasn’t talking shit. I respect that. … I respect him and appreciate what he did, because without a guy like that, maybe bantamweight wouldn’t be what it is.”

Cruz is an MMA pioneer, becoming the first UFC bantamweight champion when the promotion absorbed the WEC in 2013. Although much of his career was delayed due to ongoing injury issues, Cruz still defended his title three times and is generally considered the greatest bantamweight of all time.

And on Saturday, for much of the fight, he appeared to still be in top form, winning the first two rounds on the judges’ scorecards in his trademark style.

In the end, however, it was Vera who raised her hand, after landing a brutal head kick in the fourth round that knocked Cruz out. “Chito” says that this was always going to happen, he just needed to be patient.

“I was waiting for the move,” Vera said. “I know it’s really good, when you throw a combination, it goes from side to side and then comes back with something. But it is very easy to say that. But once you’re there, it’s a different animal. That’s why I don’t like to make fantasies in my head like, ‘Oh, I’m going to catch him!’ The guy is as strong as any other young man I’ve ever fought, he’s got balls, he’ll put in a lot of effort. But she only knew one thing that she remembered from the last time they dropped it, from the [Pedro] Munhoz fought in the first round: Munhoz knocked him down and then Munhoz unloaded. He threw away every ounce just to put it out.

“When I dropped it, as you can see, it was calculated. I never went crazy, I never went crazy. I was like, ‘Take your time, be a sniper.’ When you have someone hurt, you don’t have to kill them, you just have to touch them again, touch them again. And the trainer was doing a great fucking job of telling me the right little things, and I think we showed up a little bit better than we did in the last fight. Next time, we will show ourselves even better. I feel like we’re adding wrinkles to my game. I feel like I’m getting better with practice, I’m getting better every day at work, and I’ve said it and I’ll say it again: I’m becoming a problem, because I’m getting better. I’m getting better.”

Vera certainly seems to be improving. Since he lost to Jose Aldo in 2020, Vera has racked up four straight wins, including devastating knockouts of Cruz and MMA legend Frankie Edgar. Vera is now the No. 5 ranked bantamweight in the world according to the UFC rankings and could be fighting for the title in the near future.

With that in mind, Vera is past Cruz’s victory and is looking ahead to what comes next.

“That performance was fucking great, but that’s in the past,” Vera said. “I do not live in [the past] or amuse myself for what I just did. I had forgotten about that. I’m going to take the good, try to remove the bad and improve for the next one. I don’t live for that moment. I live for different things. That’s business. My livelihood really makes me happy, so for now, keep improving, keep adding wrinkles to the game, keep figuring out how to become a better fighter, because these years ahead are going to be the best years of my life and I’m going to make the most of it.” .

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