Brandon Vera (Pictured) was handed a golden opportunity, which the light heavyweight could have parlayed into a shot at UFC gold, had he beaten Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Although Vera came up short, his stock skyrocketed because he unleashed “The Truth” circa 2005.
Several factors motivated Vera heading into Saturday’s shootout, specifically his detractors who provided plenty of bulletin board material.
“There was a lot of trash coming out of people’s mouths,” Vera stated following his defeat. “People forget real quick. I wanted to put on the performance of my life. I got to fight one of my heroes and fight somebody I looked up to since before I even got in the game.”
After blasting out of the MMA gates with a perfect 8-0 mark, Vera went on a disappointing 4-5 (1 NC) run prior to Saturday which led to a brief release from the UFC. However, Vera has finally learned that there are no gimmes inside the Octagon and he’ll have to earn his keep from here on out.
“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 [Shogun]. I’m just going to press forward with it.”
Vera then proceeded to raise his left hand and say, “For all the haters, you know what finger is yours.”
If you don’t know which finger Vera’s referring to, he’s not telling you you’re #1. As Eminem explained it in The Way I Am, “But not the index or pinky or the ring or the thumb, it’s the one you put up when you don’t give a f***.”