Marlon “Chito” Vera, 27, of Chone, Ecuador is the first mixed martial artist to defeat Sean “Sugar” O’Malley, 25, of Helena, Montana, United States in a professional MMA bout. The two battled it out at “UFC 252” on August 15, 2020.
Featuring 12 MMA matches, the Ultimate Fighting Championship held “UFC 252” at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. In the co-main event of the evening, Vera and O’Malley competed in the bantamweight division.
Herb Dean served as the referee. He put a stop to the bantamweight contest after 4 minutes and 40 seconds in the first round when Vera knocked out O’Malley via elbows and punches.
Losing to Vera at “UFC 252” downgraded the professional MMA record of O’Malley to 12 wins and 1 loss. Competing professionally since 2015, the Helena native joined the UFC in 2017 and defeated Terrion Ware, Andre Soukhamthath, Jose Alberto Quinonez and Eddie Wineland in the promotion before losing to the Ecuadorian MMA fighter.
Now, Vera has 16 wins, 6 losses and 1 draw. “UFC 252” marked the fifth time he knocked out an opponent in a professional MMA bout.
By beating O’Malley, Vera ranks sixth among the UFC fighters with the most finishes in the bantamweight division. The Ecuadorian MMA fighter said in his post-fighter interview, “I’m a person that works hard for me, for my family, for my country and when you work the way I work, the dreams come true.”
In the main event of “UFC 252,” UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic, 37, of Independence, Ohio, USA successfully defended his belt via a unanimous decision victory over Daniel “DC” Cormier, 41, of San Jose, California, USA. The latter announced his retirement after the loss.
Five countries were represented at “UFC 252” namely Brazil, Ecuador, Georgia, Suriname and the U.S. Vera solely represented Ecuador while O’Malley was one of the 15 representatives of the host country.
Born in Chone on December 2, 1992, Vera moved to the U.S. in 2016. He trains at Team Oyama in Irvine, California.
Competing professionally since 2011, Vera joined the UFC in 2014. Before breaking O’Malley’s undefeated record, the Chone native defeated Roman Salazar, Ning Guangyou, Brad Pickett, Brian Kelleher, Wuliji Buren, Guido Cannetti, Frankie Saenz, Nohelin Hernandez and Andre Hewell in the promotion.
Vera is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Before joining the UFC, he competed in Extreme MMA, Samurai Fight Combat, Panama Fight League, 300 Sparta, Mexican Fighters Promotions and Inka Fighting Championship.