ONE Championship: Brandon Vera Says Mixed Martial Arts Is A Feasible Career Choice

ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 30, 2018 08:50 AM
ONE: Brandon Vera Says MMA Is A Feasible Career Choice
ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera believes that becoming a mixed martial artist is a good career choice

For decades, having a regular office job has always been the preferred career path for most Filipinos living in the Philippines.

However, times have changed, and locals are excelling in other careers that could bring fortune to their loved ones — including mixed martial arts.

According to ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera, who is fresh off a spectacular World Title defense, this career choice has now become a viable path to financial success.

In his highly-anticipated return to action, Vera knocked out Italy's Mauro “The Hammer” Cerilli in just 64 seconds in the main event of ONE: CONQUEST OF CHAMPIONS in Manila last Friday, 23 November.

Also on that very same evening, Filipino martial arts icon Eduard “Landslide” Folayang reclaimed the ONE Lightweight World Championship when he defeated Singaporean knockout artist Amir Khan via unanimous decision.

The night capped off with the Philippines having five ONE World Champions, including bantamweight titleholder Kevin Belingon, flyweight titleholder Geje Eustaquio, and strawweight titleholder Joshua Pacio.

As the country emerges as a global powerhouse in the sport, it also presents a new array of opportunities for budding Filipino martial artists who are looking for a big break.

"When I started in mixed martial arts, I was the only Filipino. The traditional choice was to be a nurse, open a restaurant, be an attorney or a doctor," Vera said.

"It’s not just here, but the fact is it's known around the world that a Filipino can do anything and everything.”

For many years, “The Truth” has tirelessly spoken of the talent and potential Filipinos have when it comes to martial arts.

His decision to relocate from the United States to the Philippines further opened his eyes of how tough life is in the country.

Vera knows his fellow Filipinos are accustomed to hardship, making his countrymen a perfect match for the tests that martial artists go through on a daily basis.

"I always wanted to be a great World Champion, but I never had the work ethic until I got here in the Philippines. I deal with 18-hour days," he explained.

"When you learn and live here as a citizen, immersed hardship is part of life no matter what your class is.

"That is how it is in the Philippines. Because of that, I never once skipped training sessions nor asked for days off.”

Vera, a highly-decorated and recognized martial artist around the globe, has mentioned in the past that he is not ready to venture into coaching just yet while he is still an active athlete.

What he did, however, was bring his own team of world-class coaches to Manila, such as strength and conditioning guru George Castro.

“The Truth” will stop at nothing to help promote the sport to his fellow compatriots.

Currently, he is in the process of putting up a Manila chapter of the Alliance Training Center in search of the nation's best young talent.

Vera has nothing but high hopes for the future of Philippine mixed martial arts. In fact, he is rallying his countrymen to collect the remaining World Titles in ONE Championship's other divisions.

"There are five world championship belts in the Philippines. That’s a huge deal,” he stated.

“That should be on every news report. We have half of their belts in our homeland. Let's get all the belts!”

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