Brandon “The Truth” Vera Talks About the UFC and ONE Championship
UFC veteran Brandon “The Truth” Vera is not a fan of the UFC’s recent decisions regarding its fighters and other employees.
Now residing in the Philippines, the former UFC heavyweight contender questions the new owners’ strategy following the UFC’s $4.2-B sale to talent management conglomerate WME-IMG. “With the new owners, it’s a conglomerate of investors, actors. I don’t know the direction they’re going with,” says Vera in an exclusive interview with MMA Philippines. “I know they cooled off Asia. [But] I know there’s still going to be UFC gyms here.”
The UFC recently announced their 2017 schedule, and while three of the events are targeted to happen in Asia, the specific countries and dates will still have to be revealed. Following the cancellation of UFC Fight Night: Penn vs. Lamas last October, Filipino fans are divided with regards to a UFC event being held here in 2017. Some are still hoping that the ‘rescheduled’ event would happen sooner than later, albeit with a better card, while others are pessimistic that the UFC and/or its local partner SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc. (SMLEI) would not risk another event following the dismal ticket sales reported for the cancelled event.
As the founder and co-owner of Alliance MMA, what disturbs Vera the most are the number of fighters and employees publicly airing their grievances with the UFC or parting ways with the promotion. “The fighters aren’t happy. They’re firing all the old guard staff there. The plans they have laid out so far don’t make sense. They’re getting rid of their commentators, the old matchmaker, I don’t know what they’re doing.”
Jiujiteiros Represent at Fight Con
When Fight Con organizers Origin8, Inc. thought about gathering a strong field of jiujiteiros, it was almost automatic that they teamed up with Rollapalooza. After all, Rolla is one of the best organized jiu-jitsu competitions in the country today.
Competitors from participating teams filled up the indoor area of the Amoranto Sports Complex for an incredible display of skill and technique. Present were professors, coaches, members, and supporters of Deftac-Ribeiro, Atos Philippines, Team Lakay, Clube de Jiu-Jitsu, Kamphuis-Fabricio, Checkmat Philippines, and other teams.
Atos Philippines head coach, Prof. Ali Sulit, couldn’t have set the mood any better by sharing about the success Filipino BJJ athletes have achieved in the world stage, commending the two Philippine teams that took home medals from their respective US and Vietnam campaigns this year.
With the announcement of two-time BJJ world champion Eros Baluyot as referee, the grappling competition went underway.
Fight Con 2016 is the First of Many Fight Cons to Come
Heavy rains were no match against Fight Con last July 2, 2016. The Amoranto Theatre was packed with fight fans who witnessed the first fight and conditioning convention in the Philippines. It was a day full of activities geared towards making a change in the full-contact sport scene and MMA Philippines was there to be part of the action.
Coach Erwin Tagle of Ultimate Fitness talked about FightForm – a fitness program incorporating moves from boxing, wrestling, jiu-jitsu, and MMA. Fight fans were eager to learn about the program as they took on the fitness challenge held after his talk. Legendary Coach Mark Sangiao of Team Lakay also graced the event with the story of how a humble gym from the mountains of Benguet became the breeding ground for UFC-calibre fighters.
Coach Mark Sangiao
It was a star-studded night as local legends, celebrities, and fighters, including Team Lakay’s Eduard Folayang, URCC light heavyweight champ Chris Hofmann, and former URCC champion Hideo Morikawa, were present to be part of this historic event. Presidential son Baste Duterte also showed his support leaving a very basic message to everyone: “Yes to sports. Yes to music. No to drugs!”