ONE heavyweight world champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera is upbeat and ready to defend his belt against Japanese contender Hideki Sekine in the main event of ONE: Age of Domination on December 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
The Filipino-American mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter said he is in the prime of his career and relishing carrying a world champion belt.
“My mixed martial arts career has had its ups and downs, highs and lows. But I feel that right now, I’m the best that I have ever been. I’m in my prime and I feel great,” said Vera in a statement on Tuesday.
The 39-year old Vera with a 14-7 win-loss record is on a two-fight winning streak.
Vera is eyeing to replicate his astounding performance when he defeated Paul Cheng last year via knock out 26 seconds into the opening round.
“My opponent is an undefeated Japanese martial arts veteran who is really strong and has a very capable ground game. I think [it]is a good test for me to see where I am at in my career,” he said.
He added that it takes an incredible amount of mental strength and willpower to stay in the sport.
“This is MMA. This is a sport that demands so much of your time – time away from friends and family. It’s personal time.”
“At the end of the day, you are in the gym and it’s just your body and your thoughts that’s driving,” said Vera.
He said that he considers it a blessing to compete anew in front of his countrymen.
“The Philippines is just as much as my home as the United States is, and I am truly blessed to be able to compete here in front of all the Filipino fans.”
Sekine, is set to make his ONE Championship debut after making a name for himself in the Japanese MMA organization DEEP. He holds a record of seven wins including three victories by submission and another three by knockout.