5 Things You Might Not Know About Brandon Vera

By Mark Raymundo Oct 3, 2019

In 2016, Brandon Vera relocated to the Philippines with plans of helping to grow the sport in his motherland. It was around this time that he captured the inaugural One Championship heavyweight championship. He has since defended it twice. On Oct. 13, he will have the chance to add the light heavyweight strap to his collection when he squares off with Aung La N Sang for One Championship: Century. Now here are five things you might not know about "The Truth."

1. He wrestled in the military.

Realizing that college was not for him, Vera dropped out despite being on a wrestling scholarship at Old Dominion University. Eventually, he entered the United States Air Force. He was in basic training when the wrestling coach asked him to try out for the wrestling team. When he made it on the team, Vera would go back and forth between his regular duties and wrestling practice at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado. Unfortunately, an injury he suffered during a tournament forced him to stop training, eventually costing him his spot on the team and in the Air Force.

2. He was a kickboxing champion.

While teaching at City Boxing in San Diego, Vera was introduced by owner Mark Dion to kickboxing legend Rob Kaman. “The Truth” trained extensively under Kaman, who would accompany him for a good part of his time in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. But before displaying his brilliant striking in MMA, Vera held the World Kickboxing Association Super Heavyweight Championship.

3. The guy can act.

Vera has appeared multiple times on TV and film in the Philippines, most notably in the movie BuyBust, which put his character in the middle of a massive drug bust deep in the slums of Manila. The movie earned rave reviews when it premiered at the New York Asian Film Festival. Variety Magazine described it as “superbly directed,” adding that it is an “explosive exercise in kinetic cinema that also offers potent commentary on the devastating social consequences of the Philippine government’s war on drugs.”

4. He was invited to be a conference speaker alongside an astronaut.

In July 2018, Vera was invited to speak at the RISE Conference, which aimed to inspire business start-ups. Held in Hong Kong, the event gathered distinguished individuals at the top of their fields, such as journalist Charlotte McEleny, entrepreneur Cameron Adams, and university lecturer and former astronaut Mike Massimino. On the importance of teamwork, Vera stated: “I’ve had a lot of people put time, money, energy and faith into me. I use that as a driving force … My job is to stay successful so I can hold the team together. So I can keep our company together."

5. Yes, he's tried balut.

Anyone who has ever gone to the Philippines has probably been asked if they have tried balut (duck embryo). Well, Vera was brought up Filipino and he proudly admits that he has tried the exotic delicacy.
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