Mixed martial arts is much more than a sport; you can say that you play basketball, you play football, but you can’t say that you play MMA. Mixed Martial Arts is a brutal sport, and more than anything else, it requires extreme mental strength and motivation.
For Marlon Vera, the first UFC fighter from Ecuador, his daughter was his motivation. Vera was 19 when his daughter, Ana Paula, was born with a rare disorder known as Moebius syndrome. This rare neurological condition affects the muscles that control facial expression.
Ana couldn’t smile, and as she grew older, she had trouble speaking as well. And Marlon Vera made it his goal to give his daughter her smile back. He didn’t have any money, but after competing in the ultimate fighter, he moved to California and started fighting in the UFC in 2014.
Moebius syndrome can be treated through surgery; however, it is costly and complex. When Vera and his wife researched the best surgeons, who could perform this surgery, they found that there were only two, one in Spain and one in Beverly Hills, California. When Vera and his wife talked to the doctor, for the first time in 2015, they found out that the surgery would cost $80,000; however, the doctor agreed to do it for $60,000. He also told Marlon vera to contact him when he had some money, even if he didn’t have it all UFC Marlon Vera Continues to Fight.
When Marlon Vera started fighting in the UFC, he was still training out of Ecuador. He lost 2 out of his first three fights in the UFC; however, in 2017, things started to take a turn for the better. Vera went on a three-fight winning streak and earned a performance of the night bonus as well; he had also started a go-fund-me campaign a few years back, which started to raise money. Vera was able to get his story out there to the MMA community.
With the money from his fights and the $19,000 raised by the go fund campaign, Vera had enough money to fulfill his dreams. He needed to buy a house for his family, but instead, he told his wife that he would spend all of his money on Ana’s surgery UFC Marlon Vera Continues to Fight.
Vera wired all the money to the doctor, and the surgery took play on 22nd June 2018. It took an entire day, and to the relief and joy of Vera and his wife, it was successful. However, as Marlon Vera went to see his daughters, her face was still swollen because of the surgery. He literally fainted on seeing it. For an instant, he thought that the surgery had gone wrong and became very emotional. His wife calmed him down as the doctor explained everything UFC Marlon Vera Continues to Fight.
In an interview, Vera had said, “I need to do two things with the money from fighting, I need a house, and I need the surgery for my daughter. I need to see my daughter smile. That’s really important for me.”
Vera completed both of these goals and is now a top 15 ranked bantamweight fighter in the UFC. Marlon Vera went through the struggle of training camps, weight cuts, fights, and everything else that comes with it, with one person to motivate him, his daughter. After getting her the surgery she needed, his motivation is even higher.
To say the least, Marlon Vera has a very inspiring story.