They would be even better when Marlon Sr. bought them their first home.
“I’m 27,” Vera said. “I bought my house in California, a beautiful place with a nice yard big enough for all my kids and my wife, and I can only imagine how my dad feels. How I felt, the day my dad bought a house, I never let my dad know, but started to cry. It was wonderful. My father is the meanest mother in the world. We have a house; he bought us a house.
Vera stops, the lessons of life bleeding in his fighting career, where he has a different advantage than most. As gracious as he is outside the Octagon, when the door closes on fight night, it’s a battle for more than a paycheck.
“People don’t appreciate life,” he says. “When you grow up without having something and your dad finds it for you, you grow up differently. You are a different animal. Much like Jorge Masvidal’s nickname, you were born “Gamebred” because your father raised you and how he came to be who he is. I feel like other fighters don’t have what I have inside. It’s hard to explain, but you just know you have it. You have this ‘I’m ready to die’ attitude and you really mean it and you are for real.
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Knowing that the heart beats in his chest, he does not have to trash talking about his opponents. If they throw the first jab, he’s more than willing to block, but he understands that during the whole conversation, they will always be fighting, and the conversation will have to be answered. So O’Malley is not the enemy; he is next. And to win, Vera must focus on the man in the mirror.
“I see a lot of things,” Vera said of O’Malley. “I’m sure he also sees a lot. But look, you never finish everyone. There is always someone who will find out. It might be me, it might not be me. I keep it real. But the only thing I know I can control is the daily routine, my habits, my discipline, my diet, my recovery, my rest. Good habits create success. I know the guy is good, but I can’t focus on this. If you focus on that, you are buying the hype and eating all of its hype. I focus on myself. I make sure I’m ready. I know he’s good, I know he’s dangerous, I know he can finish me off, but guess what, everything I said about him is about me too.