Rockhold, the former UFC and Strikeforce middleweight champion, believes that “Chito” Vera is primed for big things in the UFC’s 135-pound division and sees him as a legit threat to anyone. Both Rockhold and Vera train under the same roof at RVCA in Southern California under the tutelage of Jason Parillo.
Rockhold, who’s seen Vera’s recent rise to title contention, says there’s a lot to like from Vera’s game and is confident there’s a lot more to come from the Ecuadorian.
“He’s a big problem, no doubt,” Rockhold told Submission Radio. “He’s technically getting sound in his areas of weaknesses. So I think he’s, there’s a couple of guys that are dangerous. I mean, everyone is going to be dangerous at the top, but Chito is pretty sound, and he keeps himself out of danger in most areas, and I think he’s going to press anyone to the extent.
“I think he’s got so many weapons and so much relaxation and so much energy. It’s going to be hard for anyone to keep up with him, if you really see it for what it is. Right now at the top, I see him against some top guys, and it’s just weapons, keep coming. He’s just creative, very creative and relaxed. Energy for days and technical.
“So, yeah, I see my boy Chito being a big f*cking problem.”
Vera (22-7-1 MMA, 14-6 UFC) is arguably on the best stretch of his career. The 29-year-old is coming off a knockout win over former champion Dominick Cruz last month in the main event of UFC on ESPN 41.
The victory was part of a four-fight winning streak that includes the names of Frankie Edgar, Rob Font and Davey Grant, in addition to Cruz. In that stretch, Vera has won a $50,000 bonus in each bout – two Fight of the Night and two Performance of the Night awards.