The #14 ranked bantamweight decided to color his hair like the Ecuadorian flag for the event and it was Vera who provided the inspiration for the move.
“The inspiration I got to color my hair, I’d have to say was from Chito,” O’Malley said during the UFC 252 media day (via Damon Martin of MMA Fighting). “[He] gave me the inspiration. I’m just showing my Ecuadorian fans some love. I think every fight we’ll do something different and have a nice little theme. It’s something I look forward to and it’s fun.”
This isn’t the first time that O’Malley colored his hair before a UFC fight, but it is the first time the fighter colored his hair based on a fighter’s country.
Vera, who is the only fighter from Ecuador to compete in the UFC, doesn’t seem too bothered by O’Malley’s hair color.
“That’s a good question that a lot of people ask me but I don’t really know. It could be Venezuela, it could be Colombia, it could be Ecuador,” Vera said. “It don’t have the logo in that. I don’t know which country he dyed his hair but good for him. I have yellow or blonde hair, so I’m supporting all the yellow flags out there. Good for him. We’re free to do whatever the f**k we want. That’s why we pick this sport cause it’s not like a regular job that somebody tells you what to do or when to do it. Good for him.”
UFC 252 takes place on Saturday, August 15 from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada with Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which streams live on ESPN+.