Brandon Vera raring to pin first loss on Hideki Sekine in Manila title defense
Brandon Vera is confident with his Philippine training camp ahead of his title defense against Hideki Sekine. Freddie Dionisio

BRANDON Vera bared he’s fully motivated in his first title defense in front of his home fans when he battles unbeaten Hideki Sekine on December 2 in ONE: Age of Domination.

Vera defends his ONE heavyweight crown a year after he won the belt against Paul Cheng last December at the Mall of Asia Arena, and he said putting a stain on Sekine’s unblemished record after seven matches is enough motivation for him to train harder than ever.

“My opponent is an undefeated Japanese martial arts veteran who is really strong and has a very capable ground game. I think it is a good test for me to see where I am at in my career,” Vera said.

“Japanese fighters are very, very tough. I will need to come into the fight in my best condition. I don’t want to take any opponent lightly,” he added.

Vera feels right at home as he trains at the Alliance MMA in Manila, his first time to have his training camp in the Philippines, for ONE: Age of Domination that will also feature a host of Filipino fighters led by Mark Striegl, Geje Eustaquio, and Honorio Banario.

The Filipino-American champ is confident that his thorough and complete preparation for Sekine will be enough to retain the belt.

“Training has been phenomenal. I train with the best fighters in the world at Alliance MMA and with some really top guys in the Philippines as well. I am always in shape and ready to go. I can’t wait to be inside that ONE Championship cage again,” said Vera.

Another motivation for Vera is the opportunity to headline a stacked card on home soil, and he vows that he won’t disappoint his fellow Filipinos who will watch the fight.

“The Philippines is just as much my home as the United States is, and I am truly blessed to be able to compete here in front of all the Filipino fans. It’s an amazing country and we discover something new everyday. It’s an honor to be able to headline massive ONE Championship fight cards,” said Vera. 

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