No pressure, no fear for heavyweight title challenger Mauro Cerilli at ONE: Conquest of Champions
Santino Honasan on Nov 20, 2018 04:49 PM
“Inside the cage, there is no name, there is no pressure of this kind. It’s just two men that want to fight each other,” - Mauro Cerilli
ONE Heavyweight World Title challenger Mauro “The Hammer” Cerilli has his work cut out for him in his ONE Championship debut.
The Italian former Cage Warriors Heavyweight Champion will be challenging reigning ONE Heavyweight king Brandon Vera for the title in Vera’s hometown of Manila in the main event of ONE: Conquest of Champions on Friday, November 23rd at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila.
For the 35-year old, dealing with a hostile enemy crowd, so to say, is nothing new to him.
“I’ve always fought in the hometown hero’s backyard,” said Cerilli through a translator. “I’m not used to fighting in my hometown.”
While he’ll be trying to take down the Philippines’ heavyweight champion, Cerilli says that he hopes to be able to win over the Filipino crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“I’m really excited and I really love the Filipino people and I hope to conquer their hearts,” he said.
Aside from the partisan crowd, Cerilli of course will be dealing with an absolute destroyer in Brandon Vera, who is undefeated since coming into ONE Championship, and has dispatched all three of his previous opponents in under one round.
The challenger however is confident in his capabilities, and says that he isn’t afraid of what Vera brings.
“Inside the cage, there is no name, there is no pressure of this kind. It’s just two men that want to fight each other,” he said. “I’m very honored to fight Brandon, but I’m not scared of him, I don’t feel any pressure. I think pressure is on Brandon.”
Why would the pressure be on Vera?
Well, one reason could be that this will be the champion’s first bout in almost two years.
After defending his title against Hideki Sekine back in 2016, Vera took time off to attend to commitments outside the cage.
Cerilli however, isn’t buying that there’s going to be any ring rust and expects to see the best version of Vera inside the cage come fight night.
“I know that Brandon prepared for this fight very well, and I don’t think I have an advantage for in terms of rust in the cage. I know that that it’s going to be an exciting and hard fight,” Cerilli explained.
Brandon Vera defends his ONE Heavyweight Wolrd Championship against Mauro Cerilli at ONE: Conquest of Champions this Friday, November 23rd at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila. Catch the action LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23 beginning at 8:30 PM!