NEW YORK CITY – Marlon Vera had a night to remember.

The UFC bantamweight contender picked up the biggest win of his career, stopping former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar on the pay-per-view main card of Saturday’s UFC 268 in Madison Square Garden. Vera (20-7-1 MMA, 12-6 UFC) knocked out Edgar in the third round of their contest with a front kick to the chin.

The Ecuadorian sees his latest win as the best moment of his career.

“An incredible victory in Madison Square Garden with many Ecuadorians in the arena, this is the best thing that’s ever happened in my career up to this point,” Vera said in Spanish at the UFC 268 post-fight press conference.

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Vera had a feeling a finish was coming given his approach to the fight. The 28-year-old expected Edgar to be constantly looking for the takedown and he knew the front kick would be available.

“We talked about a lot going down the middle and don’t get too wild with him because he’s a wrestler,” Edgar said. “If you wind too much, you’re going to get taken down. And even then, I defended most of the takedowns but he still took me down. He wrestled his whole life. So we respected that, we stayed clean and threw combos with those kicks to try to put him out. That’s it.”

Vera is now 8-2 in his past 10 trips to the octagon. He expects to be in the top 10 of the UFC official rankings with the victory. Vera is unsure who will be next, but he hopes to get high-ranked opposition.

“I would love to fight Aldo again just because he’s in the top five,” Vera said. “Dominick Cruz is fighting Pedro Munhoz, but I think I’m already over them in the rankings after this win, so whatever comes I’ll be ready.”


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