It is official – Brandon “The Truth” Vera will return to action in one of the biggest bouts in ONE Championship history.
The ONE Heavyweight World Champion will drop down a division to face two-division ONE World Champion Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang and challenge for his light heavyweight belt at ONE: GREATNESS UNLEASHED in October.
LIVE FROM THAILAND ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera joins ONE announcer Dom Lau to discuss his upcoming showdown with Myanmar icon Aung La Nsang(Burmese Python) AND try his hand at celebrity impressions!
Posted by ONE Championship on Tuesday, April 2, 2019
This was no spur-of-the-moment idea. “The Truth” has planned a challenge for a second World Title since his last match in November.
A few days after the news broke, the Filipino hero explained why he wants to face “The Burmese Python” and gave his thoughts on the contest from Phuket, Thailand at the ONE Elite Athlete Retreat.
ONE Championship: Can you tell us about your challenge to Aung La N Sang?
Brandon Vera: First of all, I wasn’t very comfortable doing that inside the cage. It was Aung La N Sang‘s time to shine, but I’ve been wanting to become a double titleholder – a champ-champ – and I’ve always wanted to challenge for the light heavyweight World Title.
I just happened to be in Tokyo, the next event I wanted to compete on is in Tokyo, and I think it would be a beautiful main event or co-main event.
When I went in there, I was very nervous – not about challenging, but doing it in the most respectful way that Aung La deserves – especially after he just won his ONE Middleweight World Championship bout against Ken Hasegawa.
It was super weird and super nerve-wracking – kind of awkward, but kind of awesome at the same time. I got to talk to Aung La after we got out of the cage and now I’m feeling more comfortable about challenging him like that.
I’m very much looking forward to our match in October if we’re both healthy, and I’m glad it’s Aung La I get to face next – on many different levels.
IT'S ON Aung La Nsang(Burmese Python) accepts Brandon Vera's challenge for the ONE Light Heavyweight World Title!Watch the full event on the ONE Super App http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast
Posted by ONE Championship on Sunday, March 31, 2019
ONE: You said you put him in a certain category of people you know?
BV: In today’s world, it’s hard to find ‘men’ – being a father, a good role model, a true martial artist. Somebody everyone can look up to and aspire to become or follow in their footsteps.
Aung La is younger than me, but as a whole, he is a man among men, and I do put him in a different category to other people. He’s very well-rounded in life. He’s an alpha male in the most respectful and polite manner. If the world was full of Aung Las, the world would be a better place.
ONE: Do you want that challenge where you can be taken past the first round?
BV: I do want that and I don’t want that!
I’m looking and searching for someone. If you watch that movie 300, when the Spartans are looking at the Persians, one guy starts laughing. Another guy asks, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ The Spartan tells him, ‘I’ve been searching my whole life for a beautiful death. Maybe someone out there can give me that.’
Bring it back some – I’m not looking for death! This is a sport! But I am looking for someone to break me during a fight, where I have to find out how deep I can dig and get back up, and give it to him again. I’m hoping Aung La can bring me to that place I haven’t been before.
ONE: What do you think is your edge over Aung La N Sang?
BV: This is really hard to break down because I can’t really pick apart Aung La’s game. We’re almost related. His coach came from my coach. We train the same, we know the same hardships, we’ve been through that grind.
His new coach [Henri Hooft] was training with my former head kickboxing coach Rob Kaman – they’ve been sparring with each other since they were 17 – so our style is almost the same.
ONE: Do you think you almost cancel each other out in some ways?
BV: I think that’s a very fair assessment of us as athletes. I think the biggest difference between us is our experience.
During his matches, I look for those little holes he still has because of his lack of experience. I’m not going to outpace Aung La, I’m not going to outwork Aung La. I’m not going to be a bully because that’s impossible. He’s been through the same system.
I have to find holes in Aung La’s game and exploit them while he’s doing the same thing to me. We come from the same school, the same train of thought, so this is why I’m super excited for this match.