ONE Championship: Brandon Vera Lives By The Code Of Integrity
ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 23, 2018 05:14 PM
“I am excited to prove that I am one of the best heavyweights in the world on Friday. I don’t do promo stuff. Just watch the fight and enjoy because I don’t win by points. It’s not my style. I will be going for the finish.” - Brandon Vera
ONE Championship’s athletes all have one thing in common – they live by martial arts values of integrity, honor, humility, respect, courage, discipline, and compassion.
For a lifelong martial artist like Brandon “The Truth” Vera, these values have played a pivotal factor in shaping his character as an athlete and as a person since the beginning of his professional career.
Adulated in the mixed martial arts world as one of the best heavyweights in the sport’s history, there is one specific quality that he has developed during his martial arts journey—integrity.
“I think a man’s worth is as good as his words carry,” said Vera when he was asked about his description of integrity.
The 41-year-old Filipino-American superstar learned the importance of integrity at an early age through the father of his wrestling teammate named Virgil Stevenson back in high school.
“I first heard about integrity from Mr. Stevenson. At first, I didn’t understand what he meant,” he recalled. “He gave me a bottle of coolant, so my car wouldn’t overheat. I remember he told me, ‘Brandon, I don’t need money. Just make sure that you give me a bottle back.’”
“And then he said, ‘A man’s word is worth a lot.’ That coolant was so meaningful to me. I will remember it forever. It took me a long time, but I finally got him that bottle of coolant back. That’s the first time I encountered that trait,” Vera added.
Vera’s concept of integrity became more ingrained when he enlisted himself in the United States Air Force.
“Integrity is a value, like persistence, courage, and intelligence. It is your choice of values and resolution to live by those values that form your character and personality. And it is integrity that enhances all your other values,” he stated.
“The quality of person you are is determined by how well you live up to the values that are most important to you. Integrity is the quality that locks in your values and causes you to live consistent with them,” Vera explained further.
From the time that he realized the essence of and concept of integrity, Vera decided to live by it and make it part of his lifestyle.
“When I say something, it’s going to happen. If I say that I am going to be there at a certain time, unless something crazy happens, I will be there on time,” he shared.
For the past two years, Vera attended to commitments that were completely unrelated to mixed martial arts, making his ardent followers and critics alike to question if his heart was still attuned to the sport.
Vera promised to return and compete inside the cage. On Friday, 23 November, he holds true to his word.
He is set to defend the coveted ONE Heavyweight World Championship against Mauro “The Hammer” Cerilli in the main event of ONE: CONQUEST OF CHAMPIONS, which takes place at the state-of-the-art Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines
“I owe the Philippines a lot for inspiring me to work harder than I ever have before. Am I ready after spending two years away from the cage? Hell yes. I’ve prepared very hard for this bout,” he declared.
Although a tough assignment awaits him at the Mall Of Asia Arena, “The Truth” is confident that he will stop Cerilli, who brings a 12-2 professional record and a five-bout win streak to the world’s largest martial arts organization.
“I am excited to prove that I am one of the best heavyweights in the world on Friday,” he stressed. “I don’t do promo stuff. Just watch the fight and enjoy because I don’t win by points. It’s not my style. I will be going for the finish.”
Since joining ONE Championship in 2014, Vera has finished all of his opponents in the first round.
If the Filipino-American superstar has his way, that trend will continue on Friday.
“Of course, I want that finish. I am always looking for that. If there’s an opening to get the knockout or submission, I will go for that in a split second,” Vera vowed.