13 Things You Didn’t Know About Brandon Vera

brandon vera with one heavyweight world championship belt

ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera is excited to make his return to action on Friday, 29 May.

The reigning heavyweight king will defend his gold against Indian sensation Arjan “Singh” Bhullar at ONE INFINITY 2, which emanates from the Mall Of Asia Arena in his native Manila, Philippines.

Vera has been an unstoppable force in the heavyweight division.

He defeated Igor Subora via first-round TKO in his promotional debut back in December 2014, and then he knocked out Paul Cheng in 26 seconds to claim the inaugural ONE Heavyweight World Title a year later.

The 42-year-old notched two more first-round knockout victories to maintain his flawless run in the heavyweight division, and he will attempt to keep that momentum going when he defends his belt for the third time in the Philippine capital.

As we count down the days to that extraordinary bout, learn 13 things you may not have known about “The Truth.”

#1 Biggest Childhood Heroes

Like most martial artists, the Alliance Training Center representative credits Bruce Lee as being his childhood hero. But next in line was his dad, who worked hard and never once said, “I’m tired.”

#2 Greatest Influences In Early Life

Although Vera’s dad was his childhood hero, the Filipino warrior recognizes his entire family as the individuals who have had the most influence over him. Even when his friends came around, “The Truth” always made sure his family was involved.

#3 Most Unforgettable Teacher

In school, Vera had a gym teacher named Mr. Powers, who instilled in his students the virtue of respect. Everyone in Mr. Powers’ class knew exactly what respect meant, when it should be given, and when it should be expected.

#4 Hardest Challenge Outside Of The Circle

The Filipino mixed martial artist has faced – and defeated – some of the toughest competitors in the world. However, the hardest thing “The Truth” has to do every day is maintain a positive vibe in a world that seems to thrive off of misfortunes. “Every day, you only hear about the negatives,” Vera says. “Martial arts bring out the exact opposite.”

#5 Best Productive Habits For Martial Arts Success

It is no secret that to be as successful as Vera, you have to be productive. The first thing the Filipino athlete does after waking up and the last thing he does before going to bed is either train, talk about training, or think about the next training session.

#6 Boldest Aspirations Before Retirement

The ONE Heavyweight World Champion has one goal he has yet to fulfill: he wants to unify all the belts from around the world under the ONE banner.

#7 Scariest Moments Outside Of The Circle

When the heavyweight king looks for a good scare, he does not seek out the thrill of competition. He kicks back and watches some good old classic horror films – The Exorcist, to be exact.

#8 Most Fun Time-Killer On Long Flights

Vera is based in the Philippines, but for most of his bouts, he trains in California. This means “The Truth” spends a lot of time on airplanes. So how does he burn all that airtime? “I laugh and watch movies with the missus, even if it’s not the same movie,” he admits.

#9 Cleverest Book Title About The World Champion

Vera is still writing his story in the Circle. But if the ONE Heavyweight World Champion were to write a book outside of the ring, he would call it Sometimes, The Truth Hurts.

#10 Second-Best Career Choices

If Vera was not a ONE World Champion, you might find him in the cockpit of a helicopter or on the control deck of a tugboat. But no matter what, the Filipino says he would be “a business owner, always.”

#11 Finest Things About Spending Time In Two Countries

Splitting his time in both the Philippines and the USA has its benefits. For Vera, he loves everything about living in the Philippines. As for the USA, “The Truth” loves the convenience. “You can order anything, from anywhere, at any time – all from your phone,” he says.

#12 Easiest Way To Reset During Training Camps

How does a mixed martial artist balance out his or her rigorous training sessions? For this World Champion, it is all about walking in the park, hanging out at harbors, and sightseeing.

#13 Nerdiest Guy In The Gym

Although he is one of the toughest men to walk the planet, few people know that the Filipino is actually a huge nerd. In fact, he proudly owns more than 400 Funko Pop! collectibles.

Read more: ONE Championship’s Best Cosplays Of All Time

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