TAGUIG CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – Brandon “The Truth” Vera will be coming to Manila on December 5 to fight a yet to be named fighter at the SM Mall of Asia Arena. After spending eight years with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), he joins ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC) to fight under the Heavyweight division.
Speaking at the press conference held in Taguig City, Brandon Vera revealed that he has long been wanting to fight in the Philippines.
I asked where will the next fight be? When they said Manila, I said YES! – Brandon “The Truth” Vera
“When I got the call from ONE FC I asked where will the next fight be? When they said Manila, I said YES!” said Brandon excitedly.
Brandon Vera: pusong Pinoy
Members of the press were shocked and impressed as Brandon Vera, who spoke fluently in Tagalog. Many times during the conference he would speak in Taglish (a mixture of English and Filipino). One reporter even asked him in pure Tagalog, which he also responded in full, fluent Filipino.
ASTIG.PH asked Brandon Vera about his UFC entrance and outfit, which traditionally sports the Philippine colors red, white, and blue with the sun and the stars – an endearing symbol for many Filipinos. Vera responded by saying that he has always considered himself to be Filipino.
I am Filipino – Brandon “The Truth” Vera
“I am Filipino,” insisted Vera, also known as Brandon Michael Vera in real life. He went on to make a joke about how his lola (grandmother) would feed him using only hands, a well known Filipino trait called kinamay (to feed using hands).
Brandon Vera also has numerous tatoos in his body writtein alibata, an ancient Filipino alphabet.
Indeed, what he does is a manifestation of his pride as a Pinoy MMA fighter, perhaps one of the first Filipino fighter to enter the octagon. Since his debut in October 2005 other Filipino fighters have entered the arena and made a name for themselves, such as Mark Muñoz (aka The Filipino Wrecking Machine) and David Michael “Dave” Bautista, Jr. (aka Dave Batista).
Brandon is undoubtedly the best Filipino MMA fighter in the Heavyweight division, having fought the best Heavyweight MMA fighters in the world, but is this enough to make him the undisputed heavy weight champion in ONE FC?
Only time will tell, but to Brandon, this is a no-brainer.
I plan to be the Heavyweight champion for as long as I can fight – Brandon “The Truth” Vera
“I plan to be the Heavyweight champion and I plan to stay there for as long as I can fight”, quipped the Pinoy MMA fighter.
Brandon does a Tagalog interview on his preferred first fight
At the press conference, one reporter asked Brandon in full Tagalog (Filipino) if he has anyone in mind for his first fight in ONE FC.
Who do I want to fight next? I don’t know, and I don’t care – Brandon Vera
Click play to watch the video interview.
Full transcript below.
Reporter: Brandon, tatagalugin ko na lang (Brandon, I will just use Tagalog)
Brandon Vera: O sige (Ok sure)
Reporter: So sino ang gusto mong makalaban na first (who do you want to fight first) for ONE FC just to cement your place in this organization?
Brandon Vera: Alam mo kahit sa beginning ng career ko hindi ako namimili (You know, even at the beginning of my career I don’t choose)
Nagtetrain lang ako (I just train) … I show up on fight day
Paminsan minsan (sometimes) I dont know who my opponent is
Even to this day I don’t know who I’m fighting on December fifth. I just know I’m fighting December fifth here in Manila
My answer? I don’t care
Rich Franklin: from UFC Middleweight Champion to ONE FC VP of Asian MMA
Also present at the press conference was former UFC Middleweight Champion Rich Franklin, who joined ONE FC as VP for Asian Mixed Martial Arts on June 2014. He talked a bit about the differences between UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and ONE FC.
He also talked about his role as an executive for ONE FC, and how the next fight will be his last. Although Rich Franklin is retiring from fighting in MMA, he will still be actively promoting the sport, especially in Asia where he is now working as Vice President.
Pinoys are the most educated MMA audience in Asia – Rich Franklin
“The Filipino population is the most educated population in MMA in all of Asia,” said Franklin during the press conference.
When asked about the differences between UFC and ONE FC, Rich responded saying, “I really like how ONE FC handles things administratively and how much value they add into the production, especially the entrances”.
Rich went on to ask the press for a show of hands – how many of you have seen the last ONE FC production?
“All of you so-called MMA fans here and you haven’t seen our last fight? I would be really hurt if you still have not seen our show by December!” Rich said, smiling.
ONE Fighting Championship brings Brandon The Truth Vera to Manila
ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC), Asia’s largest mixed martial arts organization with a 90% market share, will return to Manila this December 5 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena for its annual year-end event featuring one of the Philippines’ finest mixed martial artists in Brandon “The Truth” Vera.
Brandon Vera has long been one of the most dangerous big men in MMA. His vicious brand of May Thai is to be respected as much as it is to be feared. With each bludgeoning punch and each thunderous kick, he has struck terror into the hearts of all opponents who have stood across him inside the cage.
Brandon Vera brings Pinoy Pride to MMA
After recently singing with MMA giant ONE FC, Vera returns to Manila, the land of his heritage, to bring honor and glory to his people.
Part Filipino, Italian and American, Vera brings the best of all cultures to the sport, yet he wars the colors of the Philippine flag with pride. A former member of the US Air Force wrestling team, Vera is well-versed in Wrestling, Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, making him a well-rounded, complete fighter – and also soon to be one of the most dominant Heavyweights in ONE FC.
The tattoos on his back written in Filipino calligraphy translate into four elements – earth, wind, fire and water. Like the ancient markings, Brandon will be an absolute force of nature when he steps inside the ONE FC cage this December against an opponent to be announced.