Brandon Vera: UFC Wasn’t A Healthy Environment For Me

Initially a promising UFC up-and-comer, Brandon Vera won the first four matches in the organisation, including the TKO win over the former heavyweight champion Frank Mir in 2006. However, after sixteen bouts in the UFC (8-7-1), in 2014 ‘The Truth’ was released.

Soon after, the American-born Filipino signed with the ONE Championship and captured the heavyweight title. Vera, now 16-8-1, has scored first round finishes in all four of his heavyweight clashes inside the ONE Circle. The 42 year old is however coming off a loss to Aung La Nsang at ONE Century, in his one-time venture to the light heavyweight division.

Speaking to Bloody Elbow, Vera explained why signing with ONE was one of the best decisions he ever made.

“I would say it was not only the smartest business decision of my career, it was one of the healthiest decisions I made in my life. It’s like when you go to a gym and you’re trying to make it work, but it’s really just a toxic environment where everyone is trying to party and hangout. It’s under the cover of being a healthy gym. You really want to get good, you really like the guys, but it’s just not a healthy environment.

“You leave, you find yourself in another gym,” Vera continued. “You start doing all the right things with all the right people, all on the same page. All of a sudden you’re a world champion. You work harder because you want to work for a company that you want to be a part of.”

Vera and his wife Jessica Vera, currently have a child on the way. Although the coronavirus pandemic may not be the perfect environment to welcome baby into the world, the couple are staying strong and positive.

“It’s almost like a camp, 12 weeks,” Vera said with a smile. “We’ve talked about it. It’s part of the gig. What can you do? Just roll with the punches. We’re staying as safe as we can, making sure we practice everything safetly as we can. You can’t not live life.”

We can expect to see Vera defending his heavyweight belt against the Canadian-born Indian wrestling specialist Arjan Bhullar, as soon as the coronavirus situation gets under control. They were previously scheduled to meet on May 29th at ONE Infinity 2, but ONE has postponed all of their May events.

Do you think Brandon Vera will defend his heavyweight crown when he finally meets Arjan Bhullar, or do you think the challenger has what it takes to cause an upset?


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