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Fil-Am star training with former rival for next fight

BRANDON VERA
BRANDON VERA

Reigning ONE heavyweight world champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera is now deep in training at Sanford MMA for his next title defense.

So determined is the Fil-Am MMA star that he’s currently working with fellow ONE star athletes “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang and Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen under renowned striking coach Henri Hooft.

Like Vera, the two other MMA stars have also scheduled fights over the next few months.

Nguyen, a featherweight, is set to face the dangerous Kim Jae Woong at “ONE on TNT II,” while Aung La is to defend his ONE light heavyweight title against longtime rival Vitaly Bigdash at “ONE on TNT IV.”

As for Vera, “The Truth” is expected to face rising Indian heavyweight star Arjan “Singh” Bhullar in his next outing. The fight is all but set in stone, and is awaiting official announcement from ONE Championship.

Vera and Aung La are former adversaries in the Circle. They fought back in October 2019, when Vera challenged “The Burmese Python” for his light heavyweight belt. 

Vera lost via second-round technical knockout in an action-packed affair, marking the Filipino-American’s first defeat in ONE Championship since joining the promotion in 2014.

When asked how Vera made his way to training at Sanford MMA, Aung La shared an entertaining tidbit, before expressing his excitement to see a former foe make a strong comeback.

“It was funny because he DM’d Martin [Nguyen] to see if I was okay (with it). Immediately we sent him a video message with me saying ‘You should be asking me, not him!” said Aung La.

“I’m a big fan of Brandon Vera. I’m just happy that he’s here with us. He’s in a camp that’s filled with killers. It’s only going to help him. It’s only going to make him a better champion, and a better mixed martial artist. I’m excited for him. He’s going to fight very soon,” Aung La said in a recent interview with SCMP MMA.”


“In the first week versus now, there’s a big difference. He can make it through two whole practices. I’m happy for him,” Aung La added. If Vera can get past Bhullar, a plethora of worthy challengers are lined up for him. 

ONE Championship made some huge heavyweight and light heavyweight signings over the past 12 months, bringing in the likes of Marcus Almeida, Tom DeBlass, Amir Aliakbari, and most recently grappling icon Gordon Ryan, among others,

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Written by Tempo Desk

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