OF all the questions thrown at him, there was one Brandon Vera felt he didn’t have to answer.
The gist of the question was: Does he expect to make a successful transition from the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the world’s biggest stage of mixed martial arts, to ONE Fighting Championship?
“Kailangan pa ba sagutin yan? Really?” the Filipino-American fighter answered, drawing laughter from the audience during a news conference on Wednesday. “Do I think I’m going to win here at ONE FC? What do you think?”
Just like that, Vera not only showed he was Filipino, but also showed his total confidence as he debuts in Asia’s largest MMA organization.
A grizzled UFC fighter, Vera signed with ONE FC two months ago and he expects to dominate right away.
“My ultimate goal is to become champion and hold the belt for as long as my career is,” Vera, who turns 37 on October 10, beamed. “I want to put the whole world on a blast that the Philippines is here and the fighters are in beast mode.”
Vera will banner the growing organization’s year-end card in Manila on December 5 against a still undetermined foe.
It will be a homecoming of sorts for Vera, born to a Filipino father and Italian-American mother, as he fights in the Philippines for the first time.
“It’s been a dream of me since Day One. It’s an honor fighting in the Philippines in front of the Filipino people and in front of my parents,” said Vera, whose stepmother is Filipina.
“There’s no better feeling,” he added. “It’s almost indescribable for me. When I start talking about it, I get emotional and I start to tear up and just stop.”
Vera starts training camp once he returns to his US home. Already working on his core and conditioning, Vera, who will fight in the heavyweight division, will focus on his timing and speed.