Brandon Vera Feels At Home Back At Heavyweight

Brandon Vera Feels At Home Back At Heavyweight


One of the more interesting stories emanating from this weekend’s UFC 164 card, is that of Brandon “The Truth” Vera.

Vera, who’s been with the promotion since 2005 and has a UFC record of 8, 6 & 1, straddling 2 divisions (heavyweight & light-heavyweight), entered the promotion amidst great promise and expectation and for a while, it all seemed to be going his way.  

He won his first 4 fights all by stoppage and was indeed touting himself to be the first fighter to hold both the heavyweight and light-heavyweight belts. However, none of that came to pass.

In the years that have followed and subsequent to his losses to Tim Sylvia and Fabricio Werdum, Vera sought better fortune in the light-heavyweight division, however, it’s evaded him there, as well. In the 9 fights that he’s had at 205, he’s only garnered 4 wins, with 1 stoppage and has only been able to string together back-to-back victories once.

In short, his career since 2007 has been a hit-and-miss affair and one marked by no singular great fight or achievement. In his last outing, which was August of 2012 and a bout with Shogun Rua, Vera was laid out on the canvas in the 4th in, what was, another lack-luster performance on his behalf.

In his fight tomorrow night, the Truth will once again venture back to the heavyweight division by taking-on Ben Rothwell and in doing so Vera says he feels “at home.”

Brandon feels that fighting at 205 was a struggle. He said he would start a camp at 238 and it would go “beautifully”, however, as camp would wear on and his weight drop, he would become un-happy, would get pushed around in the gym, couldn’t do what he wanted to do and generally felt like “****”.

In terms of the decision to make the move back to heavyweight, Vera says it wasn’t really a decision, as much as how it simply worked out that way. As he put it to “SportsNetCanada’s” Joe Ferraro:

“Ever since the Shogun fight I’ve been training…I didn’t stop training. I never stopped training, kind of like I was in camp, training 2 times a day, sometimes 3 times a day, with no fight lined up. Eating correctly, lifting, I got a lifting coach, training and I started putting on weight. I got up to about 252, was the heaviest I’ve been and the UFC called and said they were looking for you to fight again. I said okay, no worries. Would you mind asking them if I could fight at heavyweight?…They said, yes and it’s been a blessing in disguise. I’ve been able to eat. Every day I show up to train, I’m still happy, I’m not hurting…nobody was pushing me around the gym. I’m still throwing everybody around and doing what I want to do. So, I feel more at home. I feel at home.”

I have to say, that between the interview and his weigh-in appearance, Vera looks to be healthy, happy and focused. He should be considerably quicker than Rothwell and if he can keep it on the feet, should have a good chance of taking home a win. This is definitely a fight that I’d like to see go his way and if there’s any hope of him making any noise in this division, then I hope he can start making it tomorrow night.

The thing that I will be looking for the most from Vera on Saturday night, will be aggression and confidence; something I think he’s lacked in the past. Beyond that, I’d like to see that his cardio is up to scratch and that if he’s taken down, that he can get back-up and continue on.

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  • thexperience1

    He looks Fat and Unhealthy… not a good look!

    • D

      All you can see is his face…he's clearly not at 5% body fat, but that doesn't mean he's unhealthy. He looked unhealthy at 205, where he was probably the weakest looking guy in the division. His frame just had no muscle on it at that weight class.

      • thexperience1

        When you train as hard as professional MMA fighter's train and look that sloppy after a full training camp… something is not right. That's all i have to say about that…

        • D

          Some guys just naturally carry a little more body fat. Vera never looked exactly ripped, even at 205. There are plenty of heavyweights in the UFC who are "sloppier" including the guy he's facing.

        • N.C.

          There was this guy called Fedor who looked like he couldn't do a push up if his life depended on it, And this guy called BJ Penn or Big country who won TUF 10 and well many others who KTFO guys with abs every chance the got.

          If you like muscles. Try a bodybuilding site.

          If a nice a body won fights, then according to you – Check Kongo would be the greatest heavyweight that ever lived!

  • Fight2survive

    There was once a time when I believed in Vera. Now, I don't know what to think of him.

    • Brian Cox

      That is a true statement for any of his fans, including me. I really liked the guy. I always thought 205 was a natural home for him, but he never made it happen. That said, a happy fighter is a better fighter and if Brandon feels better at this weight, great. However, he must prove his cardio and demonstrate his wrestling skills have improved.

      I'll be rooting for him. I'd like to see him prove a lot of people wrong and this could be his last chance to do so; at least in the UFC.

      • D

        He looked fast and athletic at HW early in his career. At LHW, he wasn't exceptionally fast or athletic, and he looked weak. I think this always was the right weight class for him.

  • KayOne

    Lack Luster against Shogun????? NAW…..When watching that fight there were times you were thinking Oh snap vera might do this. That fight was pretty entertaining IMHO….Yes he lost but he was trying hard. A late replacement fighting the #2-3 at the time was pretty cool in my book. I think Vera looks good with weight back on him(peep his traps at the weigh in)….Hopefully not fat but some good weight that will also leave him energized. I'm so up and down with this guy(off and on the bandwagon)….But since the gym he owns is 0.4 miles from my house and I've been in there a few times. I guess you can say I'm a little(a lot) biased. Brandon Vera is the one fighter with so much skill who has held back so many times in action. Hes made me pretty mad in a few fights where he totally could have pulled more triggers. But all in all GO VERA!!!! He really needs a good win.Fighting one of the biggest guys in the UFC is somewhat skeptical in your return to
    the HWs….But look for the speed of BV and the clinch knees to be a factor. If Vera is back to his 2005-2009 Muay Thai style then Hell Yes!! I type too much sorry….GO SAN DIEGO!!!!!!!!

    • KayOne

      With Vera you get a 100% or 50% potential abilities when he fights. Please give it the 100%!!!!

    • Brian Cox

      Kay, I'd agree with all or most of that and if I had Brandon Vera's gym that close to my house, I'd probably join and most definitely be a bigger fan. I've loved the guy from day one, but as you said, there have been fights where he's not been the guy we both know he could be. It's been disappointing.

      I really hope he has a good fight tonight and not only wins, but KOs' Rothwell. I want to see an agressive, quick, in shape for 3 rounds Vera tonight and one that has better wrestling and ground skills.

      At the end of the day, I'd like to see Brandon be successful in the UFC or at least, more than he has been. I really like the guy. He comes across as a very nice and decent guy and with me, that goes a long way. He's also got great stand-up, if he chooses to use it.

      Best of luck to him, tonight.

  • watermelon fresh

    Get your facts in order. Vera did Not fight Tim Sylvia for the belt. It was a 3 round non title fight because Sylvia had already lost the belt to Couture. Vera has never fought for the title.

    • Brian Cox

      Sadly, you are right.

  • matt1926

    Vera did lose against Shogun but it wasn't a lackluster performance. I remember the sentiment being that he fought well. Vera was crying afterwards because he was proud of himself that he fought better than he had his previous two fights.

    • JTalbain

      I remember commenting afterward that, especially because people expected Shogun to kick him in half, Vera looked better losing that fight than Rua did winning it. He put on a performance that left no doubt that he couldn't take Shogun, because he tried SO damn hard to win. Rua honestly seemed confused by how much of a fight Vera was putting up. If every fighter fought as hard as he did that night, every fight in the UFC would be FotN quality.

  • greeneyeleo

    Remember his Nostra-dumb-@ss prediction? He's going to the first guy to have both the LHW and HW belts at the same time. It's going to happen! (In "opposite land", that is!)

  • nutshell

    I think a lot of hate has been thrown his way coz he was dominating everybody earlier, and everyone's expectations, along with his prediction that he'll be a champ at 2 weight classes (heavyweight and light heavy). That being said, I just hope he shows up and comes back being the killer that he is cozhe is really talented. I went to Alliance, being a filipino and all, and he was killing everybody. I saw him and Alexander Gustafson spar, and he killed him in there with his speed. He just has to get that motivation back. I got $20 on him tonight!

  • akieyugames

    Would love to see him and Patt Berry trade kicks.