REIGNING ONE heavyweight world champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera of Philippines makes his long-awaited return on May 15 at “ONE: DANGAL” at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Last fought in October 2019 where he fell short in his attempt to nab the ONE Championship light heavyweight title and be a two-division champ, Filipino-American Vera is now looking to extend his reign as heavyweight champion against challenger Arjan “Singh” Bhullar of India in his upcoming fight.
Heading into the contest, Mr. Vera (16-8) shared that he is confident where he is at condition-wise and is out to have a solid showing and retain his title.
“We’ve been training for him (Bhullar). We’ve been watching a film. We all watch film together like once or twice, take notes and drill, drill, drill, go over counters, go over offense,” said Mr. Vera, who has been ONE champion since 2015.
He went on to share that Mr. Bhullar (record here) is a noted wrestler and is expected to take the fight to the ground, something they are preparing for and looking to negate.
“He’s going to try and take me down, then wear me out on the ground. Ground-and-pound and box with me a little bit. Try to rinse and repeat. Try to do that until he gasses me out across five rounds. I think that’s his game plan. Touch and move, look for his takedown, move and box some more, then ground-and-pound,” Mr. Vera said.
Mr. Vera started his training camp at Sanford MMA in Florida before shifting it to the Philippines. It has been a process he is very satisfied with.
“The most prominent thing that I have gained out of this training camp, and it’s going to be really weird, I see everything right now. I can see everything when I’m in front of somebody. That hasn’t happened in a while, so I’m excited about what I can see with Arjan.”
Adding extra motivation for Mr. Vera is his growing family, which now includes his son Atreyu Timothy with wife Jessica.
“All of this, even though it’s just me inside that Circle, it’s not really just me. It’s all of us. When I talk about fighting, it’s usually ‘WE’ and ‘US’ and ‘OUR’ title,” Mr. Vera said.
Apart from the headlining Vera-Bhullar fight, “ONE: DANGAL” also features a host of Indian martial arts stars, and aims to showcase the very best that India has to offer. Other Indian athletes scheduled for action include atomweight phenom Ritu “The Indian Tigress” Phogat, Gurdarshan “Saint Lion” Mangat, and Roshan Mainam. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo