Brandon “The Truth” Vera achieved his dream of becoming the ONE Heavyweight World Champion in just his second match in The Home Of Martial Arts when he knocked out Paul Cheng at ONE: SPIRIT OF CHAMPIONS in December 2015.
On Sunday, 13 October, “The Truth” will try to fulfill another lifelong goal – becoming a two-division World Champion.
Almost four years removed from winning the heavyweight belt, the Filipino-American superstar still cannot forget the wave of emotions he felt when he won the gold in front of his hometown fans in Manila, Philippines.
“You know, I was so ecstatic to be performing in front of the Philippines that I almost forgot about the belt until it was given to me,” the 41-year-old said. “Once the realization came over me, there was pride, joy, happiness – I was elated. I felt everything at the same time.”
After becoming the ONE Heavyweight World Champion, Vera decided to raise the profile of the sport in his ancestral home of the Philippines.
“The whole goal is to lead by example,” he said. “It’s easy to tell people what to do, but when you’ve actually done it – you’ve been through the fire, you understand the pain, that lonely walk – I don’t have to tell anybody. They’ve seen that I’ve done it. That’s my championship mindset.”
Although “The Truth” became the perfect ambassador for martial arts in the Philippines, his new status as a World Champion put him under the watchful eye of his compatriots.
Vera knew he had to set a good example for the younger generation of athletes, and he wanted to inspire them to live the life of a true martial artist.
“I definitely noticed more people looking, watching, paying attention, and talking to me after I became a World Champion,” the Filipino said. “I had never worried about [being a role model] until that point. Then, I started to pay attention to how I carried myself because you become a figure who people look to for advice or answers.”
Vera – who made his name competing on the global stage – felt comfortable enough to accept these new responsibilities.
“That doesn’t mean I started going around being fake or changing who I am – maybe I just don’t cuss as much as I used to, or I make sure to be more polite than I normally would be in a certain situation – but I’ve always known that you have to lead by example. I don’t think I was too far off that path, anyway.”
After two successful ONE Heavyweight World Title defenses, the Alliance Training Center representative also counts on his family to keep him grounded.
“We got a lot busier with training, with endorsements, phone calls, and media, but other than that, life is still the same,” Vera said. “My wife keeps me grounded, she makes sure I keep the same routine and implement the things that got us here in the first place, keeping things as normal as we can.”
Vera will bring that same energy, drive, and determination to his match at ONE: CENTURY PART II where he hopes to triumph against Aung La N Sang to win his second World Title.
Catch all the action and more at ONE: CENTURY, the biggest World Championship martial arts event in history.
The Home Of Martial Arts breaks new ground as it features 28 World Champions, four World Title bouts, three World Grand Prix Championship Finals, and four World Champion versus World Champion matches.
The action happens at the famous Ryogoku Kokugikan on 13 October in Tokyo, Japan.
ONE: CENTURY PART I begins on Toggle at 8:00am Singapore Standard Time (SGT) on Sunday, 13 October. Once the prelims are over, Toggle airs the main card at 11:00am SGT.
Also, the show will air later in the evening via special delay on CH 5 at 11:00pm SGT.
ONE: CENTURY PART II starts on Toggle at 4:00pm Singapore Standard Time (SGT). Once the prelims are over, Toggle airs the main card at 6:30pm SGT.
Also, the show will air Thursday, 17 October via special delay on CH 5 at 11:00pm SGT.
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