ONE Championship to be seen in the US a massive step forward — Vera

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Brandon Vera of the Philippines meets Filipino sportswriters during media day for ONE: Century on Friday in Tokyo, Japan. — MIKE MURILLO

By Michael Angelo S. Murillo, Senior Reporter

TOKYO — “ONE: Century,” the 100th live event of ONE Championship since being established in 2011, will be broadcast live to the United States on Sunday, Oct. 13, and it is a huge step for the organization in being introduced to a new set of audience. This is according to the company’s heavyweight champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera.

Speaking to members of Philippine media covering the two-pronged ONE: Century at media day for the event on Friday at the Grand Prince Shinagawa Hotel here, Mr. Vera shared that ONE being shown live in the States has been long time coming and that combat sports fans there are in for quality action.

“This has been a long time coming for ONE Championship to be seen in the United States on primetime TV. I would say that this is a ginormous step forward for the West to meet the East in martial arts,” Mr. Vera (16-7) said.

“How are they are going to take it? Let’s put this way. Just on the rules set alone, in other organizations, you can win this round, and you can win that round. What happens when people do that? They tend to play it safe. They take a takedown and they win. No action. They throw a kick, they win the round. But here in ONE Championship, if you want to your hand raised, when they say go you have to win the entire time or finish it. You come here to finish. You don’t come here to win by points. You don’t come here to hang around. And the West will get to see that in ONE: Century and they gonna fall in love with martial arts all over again,” he added.

Mr. Vera, 42, will challenge champion Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang for the light heavyweight title in his quest of fulfilling his dream of becoming a two-division champion.

Their title fight headlines Part Two of ONE: Century happening at the famed Ryogoku Kokugikan in Sumida City.

The proceedings will be broadcast in the United States by way of TNT and Bleacher Report Live.

Part One of Century has the ONE world atomweight title clash between champions Angela “The Unstoppable” Lee of Singapore and challenger and strawweight champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan of China headlining.

Meanwhile, zeroing in on his fight with Aung La, Mr. Vera recognizes that the “burden of proof” is on him after calling out the Burmese champion for a title shot last March, a challenge the Filipino-American fighter said he is not backing out from.

“Let me tell you this. It’s like I coming into his house and taking something he does not want to let go of. That is going to be difficult if you put it in a real-life scenario,” said Mr. Vera in how he is treating his upcoming fight.

“So you could just imagine, that is something I’m thinking every day and every night. I’m going to his house and I have to be ready and careful not to make mistakes. My preparation has to be on point so I can represent not only myself but the sport and martial arts well,” added the ONE heavyweight champion.

Mr. Vera has fought in a total of four fights in ONE Championship and has not lost and been a champion in the promotion since 2014.

Aung La, 34, meanwhile, is undefeated in his last six fights and is currently sporting a 25-10 win-loss record with one no-contest.