Ever since Brandon “The Truth” Vera joined ONE Championship three years ago, he has looked phenomenal, and has proven to be the promotion’s most dominant heavyweight martial artist.
The Filipino wrecking ball has demolished every other behemoth who has stood before him, en route to becoming the ONE Heavyweight World Champion.
Vera’s journey to international superstardom has been nothing short of spectacular. Let’s take a quick look back at his journey to establishing himself as the greatest Filipino heavyweight athlete of all time.
His Impressive Debut Against Igor Subora
After making a name for himself in North America, Vera relocated to his family home of the Philippines in 2014, and looked for a fresh start in Asia.
Though Subora had appeared unstoppable against regional competition, winning four of his last five victories via knockout, he never came close to threatening “The Truth.”
Merely seconds into the contest, Vera lit Subora up with leg kicks, and stunned him with a monstrous head kick. Subora had trouble with Vera’s reach, and as a result, was not able to connect with any meaningful offensive attacks. The massive Vera cleverly evaded the Ukrainian’s strikes, peppered him with methodical punches and elbows, and continued to kick the Ukrainian’s body and legs.
The end came at the 3:54 mark of the first round, when “The Truth” dropped Subora with a picture-perfect straight left, and followed up with some final blows.
Winning The ONE Heavyweight World Championship Against Paul Cheng
A year later, in December 2015, Vera returned to the Mall Of Asia Arena to challenge Taiwanese striker Paul “Typhoon” Cheng for the inaugural ONE Heavyweight World Championship in the main event of ONE: SPIRIT OF CHAMPIONS.
On that night, the Filipino would make history. The bout opened with an exchange of leg kicks, and Vera connected with a head kick, just like in his debut. Cheng scouted it out, however, as he blocked it and immediately threw a clinch knee into his opponent’s gut. Unfazed, “The Truth” pushed him off and re-engaged.
From there, Vera quickly mastered the timing of his opponent. He threw a stringing inside leg kick, and dodged Cheng’s counter-attacks. When Cheng marched forward with another punching combination, Vera stepped back and countered with a straight left, which stopped his rival in his tracks.
As the Taiwanese striker stood back up, “The Truth” landed an impeccably-placed roundhouse kick to the jaw, which knocked Cheng out almost instantly.
Vera became the inaugural ONE Heavyweight World Champion and clocked the fastest victory in the heavyweight division at 26 seconds. He held that record until this past September, when Alain “The Panther” Ngalani broke it with his 11-second KO destruction of Hideki Sekine.
Dominating Hideki Sekine In His First Title Defense
For the third consecutive year in a row, the Filipino returned to the Mall Of Asia Arena in December to headline ONE: AGE OF DOMINATION in 2016. He was defending his coveted belt for the first time against then-unbeaten challenger Hideki “Shrek” Sekine.
This was supposed to be the most difficult test of Vera’s career, as Sekine was a hulking submission ace with seven BJJ titles to his name. It was clear Sekine wanted to bring this contest to the ground, but Vera was not about to let that happen.
“The Truth” started things off by stalking his Japanese foe with whipping leg kicks and a thunderous knee strike. Although Sekine absorbed the blow, Vera grabbed a Thai clinch and launched another colossal knee at his opponent.
After some failed attempts to bring the hometown hero to the mat, Vera continued battering “Shrek” with punches and kicks, until finally, a body kick crumpled Sekine to the floor. The Filipino pounced with rights and lefts, forcing the ref to halt the contest at 3:11 of the first round.
Vera has looked incredibly impressive in his time with the organization. The only question remains – who is next?