Brandon Vera will undergo facial surgery on Thursday evening to correct a dislocated cheekbone incurred in his first-round defeat to Jon Jones at UFC on Versus 1 last Sunday, said his manager Matt Stansell.
In the light heavyweight bout, Jones took Vera down two times, then landed a left elbow directly to Vera’s face. The 32-year-old fighter spun to his knees for cover, as referee Herb Dean stepped in to halt the bout.
“It broke his cheekbone in three places and it’s sort of floating right now,” said Stansell on Thursday. “(The bone) is kind of laying on the muscle of the right eye, which is preventing Brandon from looking to his right, and it’s pushing his eyeball forward.”
Stansell said two plates will be inserted during the surgery to secure the bone back in place. Vera, who hails from his own Alliance Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., hopes to return to grappling training in six to eight weeks. Stansell estimated it could take anywhere between four to six months before Vera will be medically cleared to spar again, though that timetable is determinant on the fighter’s recovery.
Stansell said Vera, a noted muay Thai stylist in the 205-pound ranks, is in positive spirits and anxious to return to competition as soon as he is cleared to.
“Brandon told the doctor to do whatever he needed to get him back in the cage as fast as he could,” said Stansell. “I’ve never seen him so motivated to get back to training and fighting before.”
Vera, who’s fought for the promotion since 2005, has been defeated in his last two Octagon appearances. After a strong four-fight start, he is now 7-5 for the promotion. Vera has at least three fights remaining on his current UFC contract, said a source.