Among the high points of Saturday’s blockbuster UFC 268 event was Marlon Vera’s front kick knockout win over Frankie Edgar. What made it more noteworthy was the photo of that exact moment that will now be forever associated with “The Answer’s” legacy.
The image drew attention, as expected. “Chito” described it as a “f—ked up” photo, but understands it as part of the nature of the game.
“It’s f—ked up. I’ll put it like this: it’s him or me. I always talk like this: it’s my family, that I gotta bring the bread home. Against your family. I’m sorry, f—k you for that,” Vera told Ariel Helwani during his in-studio appearance on Monday’ episode of The MMA Hour.
“I’m gonna do everything for my loved ones. And we’re fighting for that. We’re fighting for a better future, for everything at our homes. But it’s a f—ked up picture. The guy’s still having a family, the guy’s still having a life, and that was Saturday night.”
Edgar and Vera had a brief heated moment at the end of round two where the Ecuadorian gave the finger. He explained these actions as part of the “mind games” during a live fight.
“Round two ended, and I was really running at him with a flurry of punches,” Vera explained. “I threw a head kick right at the buzzer. And the referee literally jumped in between us. Normally, people would shake hands when the round is over. They would just look at each other. They go chest to chest, whatever.
“He went in and kind of gave me that look, like, ‘Yeah, you want to hurt me? I’m here to fight!’ And of course, I cannot just look away and, ‘Oh, I don’t want to have eye contact with you.’ I believe that’s getting defeated mentally.
“So I kind of locked my eyes on his and I was, like, ‘What?’ And he kept looking at me, so I was, like ‘Know what, f—k you!’
“Those are mind games. We’re fighting. We’re in a fist fight. We’re not playing any games. So in that period of time, I was thinking, if I looked down and walk away, he’s gonna be like, ‘Oh, he’s weak, he gave up in this little exchange.’ That’s not me. I’m gonna fight fire with fire, and I don’t mind getting in there.
“People were like, ‘Oh, that’s disrespectful, he’s a legend.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, the legend want to kick my ass.’
Ultimately, Vera says he has nothing but respect for the former 155-pound champion.
“He’s a bad motherf—r. He’s a real one. He’s not a guy that’s talking shit, getting too fancy, too flashy. He’s the real deal. He’s a grinding wrestler, and he’s still good. He can box, he moves well, he’s quick. I’m just a littler younger, a little hungrier.”
After a decision loss to José Aldo in 2020, Vera is now back on the winning track with a two-fight streak. Edgar, meanwhile, now has two back-to-back stoppage losses, both in highlight reel fashion.