Brandon Vera has never held a mixed martial arts championship, though that will soon change if all goes according to plan for the Lloyd Irvin protégé.
Vera checked in at 247.5 pounds ahead of his showdown with Paul Cheng (250) for the vacant heavyweight crown in the One Championship 35 “Spirit of Champions” headliner on Friday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines. The two heavyweights cleared their final hurdle at Thursday’s official weigh-in.
The 38-year-old Vera made his promotional debut at One Championship 23 a little more than a year ago, when he snapped a two-fight losing streak with a first-round technical knockout over Igor Subora. Once viewed as a two-division threat in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the Alliance MMA rep never quite lived up to those lofty expectations.
Cheng will serve as a fill-in for Chi Lewis-Parry, who was pulled from the event in a surprising and controversial last-minute change. The 37-year-old has won four fights in a row, all of them finishes. He last competed at One Championship 18 in July 2014, forcing a second-round doctor stoppage against Mahmoud Hassan.
One Championship 35 Weigh-in Results:
Brandon Vera (247.5) vs. Paul Cheng (250)
Mark Striegl (134.4) vs. Reece McLaren (134)
Eugene Toquero (125) vs. Li Wei Bin (124.5)
Ana Julaton (125) vs. Irina Mazepa (124)
Angela Lee (114) vs. Lena Tkhorevska (114)
Bruno Pucci (144.5) vs. Anthony Engelen (144)
Alex Silva (124) vs. Ruel Catalan (123.5)
Christian Lee (143) vs. David Meak (143.5)