Brandon Vera is tired of all the talking. It is very easy to imagine the typical Vera training sessions as intense mental battles where talking, save light colloquialisms with teammates, is a punishment. Be clear, Vera loves the MMA public. Had it not been for you, me and the world, his highlight reels wouldn’t be celebrated nor his progress considered a beacon for MMA’s bright future. Still when the talking constantly revolves around doubt on his abilities as an athlete and whether he still has that ‘thing’ that made the fans ooze star struck at his very mention, Vera is not much of a conversationalist with the media these days.
“Being hungry, and being broke. No bull,” says Vera when asked why he thinks he became an instant fan and media darling once his brand of fighting was exposed. Vera is one of those kismet stories that arise in sports entertainment every so often when the stars align just right for an instant page turning story. For him it started out just being a fan.
“I watched Randy Couture and Matt Lindland and all those guys fight on TV, and I was like man, that’s cool. I’ve been a fan since the beginning, since before Royce (Gracie). I didn’t even know who Royce was.”
Starting his professional career in 2002, Vera made a name fairly early for himself when it started to become pretty clear he wasn’t a fan of long-distance or lay-and-play styled fighting. With his first win being a first round knockout over Adam Rivera, Vera began a vicious winning trend that wouldn’t end for a while. Next a unanimous decision victory led to two stoppage victories over Andre Mussi and Mike Whitehead, where he walked away with the vacant World Extreme Cagefighting heavyweight championship.
With this now being the battle of the rising stars, Vera hopes to quiet the critics and answer the questions the way he knows best, with his performance inside the Octagon. And when it’s all said and done just like his time in the WEC, he wishes to make his exit reflect a subtle statement.
“I’ll hold both belts – light heavyweight and heavyweight – and then I’ll call it a day. I’ll tell everybody “I told you so,” and I’ll just walk out and call it a day and be done with it.”
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