Marlon Vera would like it if former WEC and UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz would take the time to direct his attention to the newest, latest version of the official UFC bantamweight rankings.
Following his dominant win over Rob Font in the main event of UFC Vegas 53, Vera moved from No. 8 up to No. 5 in those rankings. That shift puts Vera, who is on a three-fight winning streak, above Cruz, who dropped from No. 7 to No. 8 in the updated rankings.
Vera hopes the change in the rankings will finally get him a matchup with the ex-champ. A matchup that Vera said Cruz has refused in the past — because of those rankings.
“Before, in the 10 times he declined to fight me — I’m not calling you a p—sy but he declined a couple times in the past — he was always talking, he wanted to fight [opponents who were] above him [in the rankings]. Guess what? I’m above you right now, motherf—ker. So now we can go. Now we can go,” Vera said Monday on The MMA Hour.
“They tried to make it when I lost to [Jose] Aldo [in late 2020]. I was, I think [ranked] 14 or 15 back then. ... Then they tried to make it before the [Frankie] Edgar fight [in late 2021], I was No. 13 or 11, he was like, ‘No, no, too low. Blah, blah, blah. I need somebody that pushes me to the belt.’ I think we’re going to be No. 5 [now], we’re going to be pushing to the belt, homie. So the word is out there: If you want it, come get it. Right here.”
Cruz is on a two-fight winning streak. He has decision wins over Casey Kenney and Pedro Munhoz. The Munhoz victory took home “Fight of the Night” honors at UFC 269. Vera has scored fight-night bonus awards in each of his past three fights. At UFC Vegas 53, he earned $100,000 for “Fight of the Night” after Font came in 2.5 pounds overweight for the contest.