Marlon Vera is a six fight UFC veteran, winning four of those fights and he also faces top ranked John Lineker at UFC Fight Night Sao Paulo.
The Ecuadorian fighter recently signed an advertisement deal with Pepsi and his home country fans can now see him on billboards across the country.
“They called me one day and told me what they wanted to do, they told me that they wanted to put me up on the streets, on stores, so I said okay and we figured out the monetary side of things,” Vera told MMA Fighting. “My manager talked to them and made a contract to make things formal and make sure nothing gets out of line, and that’s how it went down. He (Vera’s manager) dealt with all the legal stuff, and yeah, it’s crazy. People send me photos, there are billboards on the main roads of Guayaquil and Quito, and there are photos of me at bus stops. It’s not just something for the people that know me, it’s something on a national level. It’s something for the people who only watch soccer, now they can see me on the streets; and even the lady that goes to the neighborhood store to buy a pound of rice, now she can see photos of me at store. So this is something big for me and I see it as a blessing. I know the UFC likes this and they benefit that these type of companies work with me. That’s why I don’t like to speak more than I should or critique or talk s**t about the UFC because I know that things take time. I know that it’s just a matter of time for the UFC to lay eyes on me, so I’m patient and happy with what I’ve been given.”
While the billboards and other advertisement featuring Vera has become popular in his home country, there are no plans to feature those advertisements anywhere else in the world right now.
Vera also admits that deals like the one he has with Pepsi are a dream come true for him and now he is training harder to make more deals in the future.
“For me, it was a big joy because it’s the first major brand to lay eyes on me, so it motivated me and it let me know that I’m on the right path.” Vera explained. “It let me know that I need to continue doing the things that I’ve been doing. The way I’ve been going about things has helped me win fights and has attracted a major brand, so the only changes that I will be making will be to train better and harder.”
UFC Fight Night Sao Paulo takes place on Saturday, October 28 from the Ibirapeura Gymnasium in Sao Paulo, Brazil with Lyoto Machida and Derek Brunson headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which airs live on Fox Sports 1.