Former ONE heavyweight champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera has definitely helped promote the sport of MMA in the Philippines.
Already known for competing in the US, Vera became one of the primary figures of MMA in the country, especially when he joined the ONE Championship roster.
With his fame at an all-time high, he broke into the Philippine show business, doing movies, TV, and talk shows.
Despite all of that, Vera stayed down to earth.
“I never thought about [myself as an icon in the Philippines]. I just let people think of me however they think of me,” he said.
Vera, however, is happy to have made a name for himself through the sport he’s dedicated his life to.
“The only thing that's ever made me happy about my reach, and how far our reach is in the Philippines, is when all the kids in the provinces know who I am,” Vera said.
“For me, that’s a big deal. Hearing, ‘One day I want to be a fighter like you.’ That’s the biggest deal to me, so I never thought past that.”
Vera’s legacy will have a chance to grow, as he plans to return to the division he once ruled. Moreover, he’s excited seeing all these talented names in the division spring up left and right.
He’ll have a close look at most of them at ONE Fight Night 1: Johnson vs. Moraes II, which airs in U.S. primetime on August 27. There, Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida takes on Kirill Grishenko, while Amir Aliakbari tangles with Mauro Cerilli.
“You know, every time I see more and more people coming in I ask myself, ‘Where are they getting these animals? Where are they finding these monsters, man?’” Vera said.
“It’s great. It’s amazing. It helps me stay motivated. I know that if I don’t stay in shape, I won’t be ready for them when I come back.”