Former ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera is just happy to see the heavyweights finally getting the slice of the pie and earning their due respect in ONE Championship.
Though he no longer holds the belt on his shoulders, the dethroned titleholder couldn’t help but smile seeing more fighters emerge and stake their claim to the crown in the promotion.
“It’s a very beautiful thing to see,” he said. “I’m very proud, personally, to be a heavyweight representative of ONE Championship. The talent pool just keeps on growing here at ONE.”
Vera held the ONE Heavyweight World Championship for over five years — 1,982 days to be exact — carrying the 120.1 kg weight class on his shoulders as he fought the likes of Paul “Typhoon” Cheng at ONE: SPIRIT OF CHAMPIONS, Hideki “Shrek” Sekine at ONE: AGE OF DOMINATION, and Mauro “The Hammer” Cerilli at ONE: CONQUEST OF CHAMPIONS.
He even challenged Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang for the ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship at ONE: CENTURY PART II back in October 2019 with the lack of able challengers to his throne.
But that narrative has changed now.
Russian mastodon Anatoly “Spartak” Malykhin and Bulgarian brute Kirill Grishenko are set to face off in the main event of ONE: ONLY THE BRAVE, with the winner taking home the ONE Interim Heavyweight World Championship.
And safe to say, Vera will be closely watching.
“Both of them are raging bulls. Either of them would be an amazing interim champion,” he said, sharing that he sees a fairly even duel between the two before making his fearless forecast.
“I’m going to root for the kicker, Grishenko.”
Vera also admitted that he couldn’t help but feel excited to be the one facing off against these two contenders, obviously aware of the pedigrees of both Malykhin and Grishenko.
That’s why he vows to be back in the saddle and fight anew this 2022.
“It’s really an exciting time to be part of ONE Championship and I promise that I will be back in the ONE Circle soon. I can imagine that being in the third or fourth quarter of this year, but you bet, I am looking forward to ramping up my training again,” said Vera, who last fought at ONE: DANGAL where he lost the belt to Arjan Singh Bhullar.
As for now, Vera is taking his sweet time enjoying his extended break with his family while of course, staying in shape.
Still, he plans on getting back what he feels is rightfully his.
“The heavyweight division is moving right along with the interim title and it shows that the division waits for no one. I’m excited to watch the heavyweights go,” he stated.
“As for me, I will be back and I can’t think of doing anything else other than reclaiming what is rightfully mine.”