A story has just recently been released that the fight between Marlon Vera and Sean O’Malley was in jeopardy. Sean O’Malley came up positive for trace amounts of the PED that got him suspended back in 2018. Even though it was said to be fragments of what was previously found, since the fight is under NSAC, O’Malley would have to withdraw from the contest.
Darko was looked at by the UFC to step in and replace O’Malley on a weeks notice. He is under contract with local promotion “King Of The Cage”. Him and his management team, Sucker Punch ENT, looked to try and get a buyout deal from Kotc. KOTC turned down this deal siting that Darko was too big of a draw for them to let him out of his contract. Ultimately taking Rodríguez’ dream away from him as he was forced to decline the short notice UFC fight. Sucker Punch Ent has went public with the story, and has vowed to never do business with the KOTC organization ever again. They also specify that Darko was already in this contract when they started to manage him. Witch means they were at the mercy of KOTC. Sucker Punch also mentioned that this is the only time of their 12+ year career of working with the UFC, Bellator, Invicta, and multiple other local promotions, that a promotion has held a fighter from reaching their dreams.
Stepping in to fight Marlon Vera will be LFA vet, Nobelin Hernandez. The 10-2 pro mix martial artist was set to be the main event at LFA 72 on July 26th. Yet was still granted his release so that he can chase his dreams further and take this short notice UFC fight.
UFC 239 takes place this weekend, July 6th in Las Vegas, Nevada. Headlined by Jon Jones and Thiago Santos. Co headlined by a women’s Bantamweight title fight between Amanda Nunez and Holly Holm.