by Jeff Cain
Brandon ‘The Truth’ Vera logged on and chatted with fans for over an hour during MMAWeekly’s Sunday Night Conversation in the Live Fighter Chat. “They call me The Truth because I always shoot it straight, no sugar coating here,” Brandon told the fans, and his nickname proved accurate when he didn’t dodge a single question. Vera will be the featured guest on MMAWeekly Radio today where radio host, Ryan Bennett, and co-host, Frank Trigg, will follow up on many of the topics Brandon discussed Sunday night.
After his first fight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) at ‘Ultimate Fight Night 3′ in October of last year, Brandon Vera took the opportunity to state his intentions in the UFC. He proclaimed that he is there to win both the UFC heavyweight and light-heavyweight titles. As of Sunday night, his plans remained the same.
Vera knows he’s not ready to take on UFC Heavyweight Champion, Andrei Arlovski yet, but thinks he will be in, “two or three more fights.” There’s been no mention of when or who Vera will be facing next, but he wouldn’t mind his next opponent being Paul Buentello. Brandon said Paul has good hands, but thinks he’ll win the fight.
Much of the conversation centered around Vera dropping down to light-heavyweight and the match ups for him in that division. Asked if he thinks he’s the man to dethrone the current UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion, Chuck ‘The Iceman’ Liddell, Brandon simply replied, “Yes.”
Most fighters who step in the octagon against Chuck Liddell try desperately to get the fight to the ground, but Brandon Vera has no intentions to even try to take Liddell down. Vera doesn’t think he can get Chuck down, and doesn’t think he needs to. His game plan would be to stand with Liddell and predicted the fight wouldn’t go to a decision. Questioned if he thought he could beat Liddell easily, Brandon replied, “Easily beat Chuck? Are you crazy? When would Chuck ever be easy to beat?”
Right now, Brandon is content to continue competing as a heavyweight. In fact, he said he prefers to fight at heavyweight. He was asked when he would be making the move down to the light-heavyweight division. He answered, “When I get a raise, I’ll cut down to 205.” Vera only has one more fight left on his current UFC contract, so a raise should be in his near future, if he continues to win.
Two other light-heavyweight match ups were discussed: a match against Renato ‘Babalu’ Sobral and against ‘The Huntington Beach Bad Boy,’ Tito Ortiz. Vera described ‘Babalu’ as, “One tough mo fo.” He added, “Babalu would be a great fight.”
Asked who he thinks is going to win between Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin, Vera commented, “I hope Forrest.” Vera doesn’t like Tito, and when asked why, he said, “Tito is just different. I love what he did for the sport. I just don’t like him. How would a fight between Ortiz and Vera go? According to Vera, “It would be bad for Tito.”
Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson will be a free agent after his next Pride bout, and Vera was asked if he’d like to see ‘Rampage’ in the UFC. Brandon said, “Hell yeah.” Jackson holds a win over, light-heavyweight champion, Chuck Liddell and Vera thinks he can beat Liddell again. He commented, “Rampage would tear some shit up.”
One of the most interesting statements made by Vera was the UFC and K-1 are rumored to be working together. From the outside looking in, it certainly looks that way. BJ Penn was under K-1 contract when the UFC brought him back. Royce Gracie was under K-1 contract when they signed him to fight Matt Hughes. Recently, Jerome LeBanner publicly called out former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Tim Sylvia. Could the call out have been for promotional purposes? When asked, Brandon thought so. After all, LeBanner has sported the Xyience logo to the K-1 ring. Brandon picked LeBanner to win the fight, if it put together.
The UFC brought back Royce Gracie after a long absence from the UFC octagon to take on UFC Welterweight Champion, Matt Hughes, in a legends match. Vera predicted Hughes to come away with the victory.
David ‘The Crow’ Loiseau gets a shot at Rich ‘Ace’ Franklin and his UFC Middleweight Title at UFC 58 on March 4th, in an event being billed as USA vs. Canada. On the same card, the Canadian welterweight sensation, Georges ‘Rush’ St. Pierre faces his toughest challenge yet, BJ Penn. Vera didn’t pick a winner of the St. Pierre and Penn bout, saying he liked both fighters, but he did pick a winner of the main event. Brandon picked Loiseau defeat the champ. Vera also expressed a desire to train with the Loiseau and St. Pierre camp in the future.
On April 6th, Rashad Evans will fight for the first time since winning ‘The Ultimate Fighter 2′ heavyweight contract. Evans takes on season one’s Sam Hoger. Vera sees Rashad winning that fight.
Listen to Brandon Vera live on MMAWeekly Radio at 9AM PST/NOON EST today. If you’re not participating in the Sunday Night Conversation, you’re missing the best one-on-one interaction with the fighters on the net, not to mention a lot of information. Keep an eye out for the next Sunday Night Conversation at 7PM PST/10PM EST, on sundays in MMAWeekly.com’s Live Fighter Chat.