|Born||Brandon Michael Vera
October 10, 1977
Norfolk, Virginia, United States
|Other names||The Truth|
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight||241 lb (109 kg; 17.2 st)|
|Reach||77.0 in (196 cm)|
|Fighting out of||San Diego, California, United States|
|Rank||black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Lloyd Irvin|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|University||Old Dominion University|
|Notable school(s)||Lake Taylor High School|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
October 10, 1977 |
Norfolk, Virginia, United States
|Service/branch||United States Air Force|
|Years of service||1997-1999|
|Other work||Professional Mixed martial arts|
Brandon Michael Vera (born October 10, 1977) is an Filipino American mixed martial artist who currently competes as a Heavyweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He is the former WEC 13 Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion, and has also competed in the Light Heavyweight division.
Vera is the son of a Filipino father, Ernesto and his Filipino step-mother, Amelia. His birth mother is Italian-American and was not involved in most of his upbringing. Vera grew up in a family with three brothers and one sister. He also has two other brothers and another sister outside of the family in which he was raised and they were occasionally involved in his life. Vera was born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia, and attended Lake Taylor High School where he excelled in wrestling and earned a four-year athletic scholarship to Old Dominion University. However, he dropped out of Old Dominion after a year and a half when he felt college was not for him, and enlisted himself in the United States Air Force.
In the Air Force, Vera joined the wrestling team and trained at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. His military wrestling career was cut short in 1999 when he tore ligaments in his right elbow. Arthroscopic surgery repaired the ligaments, but he had nerve damage from the experience, causing him to be unable to use his right arm. He was released from the Air Force on a medical discharge.
Vera returned to Virginia where he steadily rehabilitated his arm, and eventually was fit enough to enter the Grapplers Quest submission wrestling competitions on the East Coast. There, his solitary training methods (he did not belong to a camp and trained and cut weight on his own) caught the attention of Lloyd Irvin, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu Black Belt and coach, who invited him to train with his school. At Irvin's school, he was introduced to mixed martial arts. He also trained with Linxx Academy, and Hybrid Academy.
Mixed martial arts career
Vera's first professional mixed martial arts bout was on July 6, 2002, while training under Floyd Mayweather. He won the fight against Adam Rivera via TKO in the first round. He fought and won another bout in 2004 before entering the WEC 13 Heavyweight Tournament in 2005, where he won two bouts in one night, including a bout against The Ultimate Fighter 2's Mike Whitehead in the final.
Vera then moved to San Diego, California, on December 31, 2003, to accept a training position with City Boxing. At City Boxing, Vera excelled as a trainer and was taken under the wing of owner Mark Dion, who became his manager and introduced him to kickboxing great Rob Kaman. With Vera's success as a trainer and a mixed martial arts fighter, Dion gave Vera partial ownership of City Boxing.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Vera made his UFC debut at Ultimate Fight Night 2 on October 3, 2005, against BJJ black belt Fabiano Scherner. Vera won the fight via KO due to knees from the clinch mid-way through the second round. Following the Scherner bout, he faced Justin Eilers at UFC 57, winning early in the first round by KO. At UFC 60, Vera defeated Assuerio Silva with a guillotine choke in the first round. On November 18, he stopped former heavyweight champion Frank Mir by TKO due to strikes in just 69 seconds at UFC 65 in Sacramento, California.
White had been telling the media prior to UFC 65 that the winner of the Vera-Mir fight would face the winner of the Tim Sylvia-Jeff Monson bout, which was also being held that same night, for the championship. Vera's victory secured him a championship bout against then title-holder Tim Sylvia, but a contract dispute with the UFC forced him to be replaced by Randy Couture.
In August, the UFC announced the "return" of Vera. His first fight was at UFC 77 against Sylvia, who had recently lost the UFC Heavyweight Championship to Couture. Vera lost for the first time via unanimous decision. He also broke his left hand at 4:40 of the first round.
Vera had his second loss at UFC 85 against Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist Fabricio Werdum via TKO. The fight was controversially stopped by referee Dan Miragliotta as Werdum mounted him and landed some ground and pound. After the stoppage, Vera was upset as he felt he was defending himself effectively.
After his two recent losses, Vera dropped down to the Light Heavyweight division, facing IFL alum Reese Andy at UFC Fight Night 14 on July 19, 2008, on Spike TV. Vera defeated Andy via unanimous decision.
At UFC 89, Vera lost to Keith Jardine via a narrow split decision. Following the fight, Vera incurred criticism for his performance since his return to the UFC having been victorious in only one of his last four fights.
A more focused Vera appeared on the preliminary card of UFC 96. It was the first time Vera was not on the main card since he made his debut in the UFC. He had an impressive performance against Mike Patt, showing a more aggressive and intense striking approach and stopping him via TKO (leg kicks) in the second round.
Vera fought Polish fighter Krzysztof Soszynski at UFC 102 after his original opponent, Matt Hamill, was forced to drop out due after suffering a meniscus tear while training. Vera won via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Vera lost a close fight to Randy Couture via unanimous decision on November 14, 2009 at UFC 105, with the media comparing the decision to a previous UFC event (UFC 104 Machida-Rua) which prompted that MMA judging should be changed. Despite Vera significantly outstriking Couture and successfully defending numerous takedown attempts, judges awarded the victory to Couture. The verdict surprised many people; UFC commentator Joe Rogan was highly critical of the decision during the live event broadcast and in a post-fight interview, Randy Couture admitted that he didn't expect the decision to be made in his favor.
Vera was defeated by Brazilian Thiago Silva via unanimous decision on January 1, 2011 at UFC 125. At the end of the third round, Vera stood up to reveal a badly broken nose. Vera was cut by the UFC with a 7–6 record in the organization. However following the fight it was revealed that his opponent Thiago Silva had failed the post-fight drug test. As a result of this, Vera was rehired by the UFC and the result of the Silva fight was changed to a no contest, resulting in Vera's UFC record changing to 7-5-0-1.
Vera was expected to face Australian James Te-Huna on July 11, 2012 at UFC on Fuel TV: Munoz vs. Weidman. However, Vera was pulled from the bout with Te-Huna to face Maurício Rua on August 4, 2012 at UFC on Fox: Shogun vs. Vera. Vera was defeated via TKO late in the fourth round. Vera showed great heart after being rocked early in the second round, but as both fighters showed early signs of fatigue in the late stages of the second round, Vera ultimately succumbed to Rua's power. This fight is widely considered the best performance of Vera's career, despite the loss.
Vera returned to the Heavyweight division after an absence of 5 years and faced Ben Rothwell at UFC 164 on August 31, 2013. After a competitive first and second round, Rothwell defeated Vera by TKO in the third round. However subsequent to the bout, Rothwell tested positive for elevated testosterone levels. The UFC has now suspended Rothwell for 9 months.
Vera's wife, Kerry, is also a mixed martial artist who formerly fought for the now-defunct Strikeforce. She was featured on the second season of Oxygen's Fight Girls. Vera has a tattoo on his back, inked in the Filipino writing system called Baybayin. Clockwise, it reads mundo (earth), hangin (wind), apoy (fire) and tubig (water).
While staying in the Philippines, he trained Filipino actor, Richard Gutierrez, in martial arts and has been given a role as an assassin for Philippine primetime television show, Kamandag on the GMA Network.
In the latter part of his training for UFC 89, Vera was reportedly held at gun point by two men attempting to rob the house in which he was staying. Vera stated that the incident did not affect his performance against Keith Jardine.
Mixed martial arts
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|20 matches||12 wins||7 losses|
|Loss||12–7 (1)||Ben Rothwell||TKO (Punches)||UFC 164||August 31, 2013||3||1:54||Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States||Heavyweight bout. Rothwell tested positive for high testosterone.|
|Loss||12–6 (1)||Maurício Rua||TKO (punches)||UFC on Fox: Shogun vs. Vera||August 4, 2012||4||4:03||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Win||12–5 (1)||Eliot Marshall||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 137||October 29, 2011||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|NC||11–5 (1)||Thiago Silva||NC (overturned by NSAC)||UFC 125||January 1, 2011||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Originally unanimous decision loss; result overturned after Silva falsified his urine sample.|
|Loss||11–5||Jon Jones||TKO (elbow and punches)||UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones||March 21, 2010||1||3:19||Broomfield, Colorado, United States|
|Loss||11–4||Randy Couture||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 105||November 14, 2009||3||5:00||Manchester, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||11–3||Krzysztof Soszynski||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 102||Aug 29, 2009||3||5:00||Portland, Oregon, United States|
|Win||10–3||Mike Patt||TKO (leg kicks)||UFC 96||Mar 7, 2009||2||1:27||Columbus, Ohio, United States|
|Loss||9–3||Keith Jardine||Decision (split)||UFC 89||Oct 18, 2008||3||5:00||Birmingham, England, United Kingdom|
|Win||9–2||Reese Andy||Decision (unanimous)||UFC: Silva vs Irvin||July 19, 2008||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Light Heavyweight Debut.|
|Loss||8–2||Fabricio Werdum||TKO (punches)||UFC 85||June 7, 2008||1||4:40||London, England, United Kingdom|
|Loss||8–1||Tim Sylvia||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 77||October 20, 2007||3||5:00||Cincinnati, Ohio, United States|
|Win||8–0||Frank Mir||TKO (elbows & punches)||UFC 65||November 18, 2006||1||1:09||Sacramento, California, United States|
|Win||7–0||Assuerio Silva||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC 60||May 27, 2006||1||2:39||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Win||6–0||Justin Eilers||KO (head kick & knee)||UFC 57||February 4, 2006||1||1:25||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||5–0||Fabiano Scherner||TKO (knees & punches)||UFC Ultimate Fight Night 2||October 3, 2005||2||3:22||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||4–0||Mike Whitehead||TKO (doctor stoppage)||WEC 13||January 22, 2005||2||1:12||Lemoore, California, United States||Became2005 WEC Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion.|
|Win||3–0||Andre Mussi||KO (knees & punches)||WEC 13||January 22, 2005||1||0:51||Lemoore, California, United States||2005 WEC Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinal.|
|Win||2–0||Don Richards||Decision (unanimous)||Next Level Fighting 1||September 13, 2003||2||5:00||Steubenville, Ohio, United States|
|Win||1–0||Adam Rivera||TKO (punches)||Excalibur Fighting 11||July 6, 2002||1||3:20||Richmond, Virginia, United States|
- "UFC 164 fight card: Brandon Vera vs Ben Rothwell fight preview". SB Naton. 2013-08-27. Retrieved 2013-08-31.
- "Don't Fight Mad". San Diego Reader. 2007-02-08. Retrieved 2007-07-11.
- "WEC: Heavyweight Explosion". Sherdog.com. 2005-01-03. Retrieved 2007-07-11.
- ABS-CBN Interactive, Vera loses to Werdum
- 411mania.com, 411's UFC 85: Bedlam Report 6.07.08
- "Soszynski Replaces Hamill At UFC 102". MMAweekly.com. 2009-07-27.
- "UFC 105 Brandon Vera Randy Couture by decision". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
- "UFC 105 Roundtable". sportsillustrated.cnn.com. November 16, 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-14.
- "UFC 125: Brandon Vera's Broken Nose". Retrieved 8 January 2011.
- "UFC 125 Medical Suspensions: Brandon Vera Suffers Nasal Fracture". Retrieved 8 January 2011.
- "Brandon Vera Released by the UFC". Retrieved 8 January 2011.
- ((cite web|url=http://www.mmabay.co.uk/2011/02/23/brandon-vera-poised-for-a-ufc-return-with-a-dark-cloud-still-hovering-over-thiago-silva/))
- "Brandon Vera Not Cut by the UFC". bloodyelbow.com. 2011-02-22. Retrieved 2011-02-23.
- "UFC 137: Brandon Vera vs Eliot Marshall booked for Oct. 29 in Las Vegas, Nevada". mmamania.com. July 16, 2011.
- "Thiago Silva vs. Brandon Vera rematch set for May 15 in Virginia". mmajunkie.com. February 2, 2012.
- "Brandon Vera injured, out of UFC on Fuel TV 3 rematch with Thiago Silva". mmajunkie.com. February 4, 2012.
- "Brandon Vera Returns to Action Against James Te Huna at UFC on FUEL 4". cagepotato.com. April 13, 2012.
- Staff (2013-05-14). "Ben Rothwell vs. Brandon Vera heavyweight bout targeted for UFC 164 in Milwaukee". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-05-14.
- Staff (2013-10-3). "UFC trumps Wisconsin, suspends Ben Rothwell for elevated testosterone". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-10-3.
- "The Cast of Fight Girls". Oxygen Pressroom. Oxygen. Retrieved 2007-07-11.
- Brandon Vera's Baybayin tattoos : PinoyTattoos.com - Filipino Tattoo Source
- "UFC warrior is now an actor in Kamandag". GMANews.tv. GMA Network Inc. Retrieved 2007-11-12.