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
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
La N Sang
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
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
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
, 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