Former ONE Championship Heavyweight World Champion Brandon ‘The Truth’ Vera currently runs his very own Philippines Alliance Training Center, developing the next generation of Filipino martial artists right where he got his own professional start training in submission grappling.
His storied career climbing the ladder of the world of combat sports started out early while growing up in Norfolk, Virginia, where he competed as a collegiate wrestler with Old Dominion University. He went on to join the military’s prestigious Greco-Roman wrestling team as a member of the US Air Force.
After leaving the service with an arm injury, Vera began studying the art of submission grappling with a vigor, training in MMA under some of the best coaches in the world and going on to compete in both heavyweight and light heavyweight divisions all over North America until 2014.
Brandon left the UFC and made his debut at ONE: WARRIOR’S WAY, with a first round stoppage against Igor Subora, following that up with his infamous 26-second KO of Paul Cheng just a year later to secure the inaugural ONE Heavyweight World Championship. He’s continued his legendary career with the promotion ever since then and plans to hold the belt again before he retires.
The former World Title holder catches up with Bloody Elbow’s own Danny O’Donnell, Fight Analyst, Author, & BJJ Black Belt in an exclusive Bloody Elbow Presents Interview. They discussed bouts on last Friday’s ONE event, what it’s like fighting in two divisions, the transition from the UFC to ONE, his future plans, his thoughts heading into the big ONE-X 10th Anniversary mixed discipline card on March 26th, & more…
Enjoy the interview!
* We apologize in advance for some intermittent audio issues we had with background noises throughout this interview that were beyond our control.
Q1: There was a huge ONE Championship card on Friday, March 11th., ‘ONE Lights Out!’ was the name of it. The co-main event was between Bantamweights Bibiano Fernandes and John Lineker. What were your thoughts on both of those guys and that fight? — At 0:39
Q2: It’s going to be really interesting to see what Bibiano does from here, what he decides to do being over forty, he surprisingly looks like he still has a lot more in him… — At 3:20
Q3: Moving on to the main event for the ONE Lightweight Championship between Thanh Le and Garry Tonon which ended in 56 seconds… what were your thoughts on that fight? — At 4:02
Q4: You mentioned Thanh Le’s preparation, he was training his jiu-jitsu with Ryan Hall, do you think that helped him with those heel hook attacks? — At 6:02
Q5: Brandon asks Danny… Who do you think Le fights next? — At 7:42
Q6: Speaking of who Le might fight next, Martin Nguyen? He got a win on the card as well… — At 8:01
Q7: What was it like to make that transition from the UFC to ONE back in 2014? — At 8:34
Q8: You’ve fought for the Light Heavyweight title and held the Heavyweight title, what are your thoughts on where you see yourself moving forward in ONE, two belts? — At 12:59
Q9: One of the cool things that ONE is doing is having individual martial arts disciplines on cards like the upcoming ONE-X card — could you ever see yourself fighting a match like that? — At 13:58
Q10: You are approaching the milestone of twenty years in the mixed martial arts game, what does that mean to you? — At 14:51
Q11: Not a lot of people have been able to create an MMA career on their own terms like you’ve done in multiple promotions, you are a pioneer who laid the road map on how others can craft their careers… — At 16:58
Q12: Let’s talk about the big tenth anniversary ONE-X card coming up which will have multiple martial arts matches in various disciplines like mixed rules fights, submission grappling, kickboxing, MMA, etcetera; they are actually going to split it up into three parts. There are some huge names on this card coming up, what are your thoughts heading towards that, is there anyone you plan to pick? — At 18:24
Q13: Is de Ridder Light Heavyweight and Middleweight Champion? (Brandon wants to meet him in a Catchweight match) — At 24:04
You can follow Danny on twitter & instagram — @DannyOD_bjj and you can find us @BloodyElbow. Check out Brandon Vera’s official twitter while you’re there — @Verafied or his insta — @brandonthetruthvera; & visit his Philippines Alliance Training Center at — #alliancetrainingcenterph on instagram.
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