Who was that guy fighting against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua on Saturday night? It was not the Brandon Vera (Pictured) who fans have grown accustomed to seeing over the past several years, and it certainly wasn’t a light heavyweight who was supposed to be a 3-to-1 longshot against the former champion.
This Brandon Vera was “The Truth,” circa 2005.
Despite dropping a 4thRound TKO loss to Shogun, Vera’s stock still skyrocketed. Perhaps to an all-time high, and for that reason, he’s willing to leave Los Angeles with a moral victory in tow.
“Usually I just worry about records – whether I won or whether I lost, whether you get to sign for that extra second check (win bonus) or not – but I can’t hang my head on this one,” Vera stated at the post-fight press conference. “I cannot. I proved to myself, to my fans out there, that I’m not going anywhere.
“I’m still in the mix. I’m gunning for that top 5. I’m not done, man, not by a long shot. My book’s still open. I’m still writing chapters.”
Vera has now gone a disappointing 1-3 (1 NC) over his past five fights, which included a momentarily release from the planet’s premier mixed martial arts promotion, but UFC president Dana White couldn’t have been more please with Vera’s latest showing.
The Muay Thai specialist credits his recent reality check for rejuvenating his once-promising career. The 34-year-old now understands nothing in this world is free, and he is willing to work for everything that’s coming his way.
“For a long time, I started taking my job in the UFC for granted,” Vera revealed. “I stopped training like I was fighting against the best guys in the world. I figured that just me being Brandon Vera, people would be nervous, and when I’d fight them, they’d back off. It’s not like that here. This is a place of champions.
“It’s been a hard-knock lesson, but I learned it. I had a great time fighting [Saturday]. I’m just going to press forward with it.”