Marlon Vera has savagely played down Sean O’Malley’s mind games ahead of their eagerly-awaited bantamweight clash at UFC 252.
O’Malley stoked his rivalry with Vera by extravagantly dying his hair the colors of his opponent’s home country.
The 25-year-old was seen colouring his hair yellow, blue and red to match the Ecuadorian flag on UFC Embedded.
And speaking about his new hairstyle, the rising UFC superstar revealed that ‘Chito’ provided inspiration for his colourful appearance.
“The inspiration I got to color my hair, I’d have to say was from Chito. [He] gave me the inspiration,” he said.
“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.
“I didn’t think it would really bother him,” he added. “If me changing my hair color got in his head, that might be too easy of a fight. I’m not doing it to get into his head. It’s just for fun.
“The fans love it, the media, it’s something to talk about. Last time I did it, the whole fight week was about my hair. It’s something to talk about and just showing some love.”
But Vera, 27, isn’t concerned with O’Malley’s tricks ahead of their Las Vegas showdown.
“My skin is thicker than his mom, so I’m good with that,” he said. “It’s hard to get in my mind.
“Honestly I don’t really know,” he continued. “It could be Venezuela, it could be Colombia it could be Ecuador. It doesn’t have the logo so I don’t know which country he died his hair but good for him you know? I have yellow or blonde, so I’m supporting all the yellow flags out there.
“We’re free to do whatever the f**k we want. That’s why we picked this sport.”
O’Malley meets Vera in the co-main event of UFC 252.