MMA: Brandon Vera KO win caps victorious night for Pinoy fighters

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 23 2018 11:44 PM | Updated as of Nov 24 2018 01:02 AM

MMA: Brandon Vera KO win caps victorious night for Pinoy fighters 1
Victorious Brandon Vera walks away, as Italian challenger Mauro Cerilli lies on his back in defeat on Friday. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

It took 2 years before Brandon Vera returned to the ONE Championship cage, but he's as devastating as ever.

Vera treated Filipino fans with a stunning knockout of wild-swinging Italian challenger Mauro Cerilli at Mall of Asia Arena on Friday to keep the world heavyweight belt.

It's as if the Filipino-American never left the MMA scene, as he didn't show any sign of rust despite spending almost two years shooting the acclaimed movie, "BuyBust."

After feeling it out with Cerilli, Vera connected on a few leg kicks. The Italian apparently expected that and attempted to catch the kicks.

The visitor started advancing, swinging wildly with big punches.

Vera patiently backed away, then snuck in a perfectly timed left hook that laid Cerilli flat on his back 1 minute and 4 seconds into the first round.

"Galing! Manila, mga kababayan miss na miss na kita (sic). Antagal na dalawang taon. Pasensya ah," Vera said addressing the appreciative crowd.

Vera said he consistently did his homework picking apart Cerilli's fighting style. That was the reason he knew when to fire his counter-left.

"I've been watching his tapes, I know he swings hard. So I'm glad I got that left hook in," he said, before again turning to the throngs of Filipino supporters .
 
"In the world of martial arts, the Philippines owns 5 world titles. Kayang-kaya ng bansa natin. Suportahan natin ang mga martial
artist natin."

Besides Vera and Eduard Folayang, who recaptured the world lightweight title just minutes prior to Vera's match, other Filipinos with ONE titles include: Kevin Belingon (bantamweight), Geje Eustaquio (flyweight) and Joshua Pacio (strawweight).

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