Fil-Am Vera returns to ONE Cage to defend crown

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Brandon Vera (right) prepares to attack a foe during a match. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Brandon Vera (right) prepares to attack a foe during a match.
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera (14-7-0, 1NC) of San Diego, California is set to make his much-anticipated return to the ONE Championship cage December 2 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines. The Filipino-American fighter is set to defend his title belt against undefeated Japanese challenger Hideki Sekine (7-0) in the main event of ONE: Age of Domination.

The matchup headlines a stacked fight card featuring a posse of local homegrown Filipino mixed martial artists. Seeing action are Team Lakay standouts Geje Eustaquio, Honorio Banario, April Osenio and Danny Kingad. Also to see cage time are Eugene Toquero, Mark Striegl, and Filipino-Australian Reece McLaren.

Vera, 39, takes pride in leading the charge for team Philippines who are ready to put on a show in Manila.

“The Philippines is just as much 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,” said Vera. “It’s an amazing country and we discover something new everyday. It’s an honor to be able to headline massive ONE Championship fight cards.”


Vera was last seen in the cage nearly a year ago, when he captured the ONE Heavyweight World Championship with a first round knockout victory over Taiwanese-Canadian fighter Paul “Typhoon” Cheng.

His opponent, the 265-pound Sekine is a new ONE Championship talent acquisition. He is currently unbeaten as a professional mixed martial artist. Six of his seven victories have come by finish, including three by submission and three by knockout.

With both fighters having a knack for exciting finishes, the bout is expected to not go the distance. Vera, who joined ONE Championship in 2014, is a winner of two straight with both wins coming by first round knockout.

Vera, who has been a mixed martial artist for the greater part of the last two decades, feels he is at the highest point of his career now.

“My mixed martial arts career has had its up 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. “The honor and prestige of being a world champion is something that I take very seriously. I am proud to wear the ONE Heavyweight World Championship belt around my waist.”

Vera promises fans who will come down to the MOA Arena next week that he will be at peak condition. Expect only the best performance said the Filipino-American.

“Training has been phenomenal. I train with the best fighters in the world at Alliance MMA and with some really top guys in the Philippines as well. I am always in shape and ready to go,” said Vera.

“I can’t wait to be inside that ONE Championship cage again. The big fight atmosphere in Manila is amazing. Filipino fight fans are a passionate bunch.”

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