“I want to hurt him. And I’m not saying that to be mean. This fight means a lot to me, man, in more ways than one. So I want him to hurt. I don’t care how I win, I just gotta get the W,” said Filipino-American mixed martial artist Brandon Vera, who makes his long-awaited Philippine debut against URCC heavyweight champion Igor Subora tonight, at ONE FC’s Warrior’s Way at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
With former former UFC middleweight champion and current ONE FC vice president of perations Rich Franklin calling the Filipino fight fans as the promotion’s “strongest MMA base” and the “most educated MMA population in all of Asia,” it’s no wonder Vera is itching to finally showcase his talents in front of the fans who’ve come to build a real affection for him over the years.
“It’s a dream come true. I’ve been wanting to fight here since I very first signed for my first pro organization,” Vera told InterAksyon.com.
But after almost a decade of waiting for this opportunity, he admits there’s a bit of mixed emotions involved in the lead up. “I’m nervous everyday, and excited every night.”
And perhaps the mixed martial arts star’s reservations about the fight aren’t unwarranted. The 34-year-old Ukrainian he fights tonight may not have as extensive a fight record, but is certainly no pushover, going undefeated in his last five fights, finishing all his opponents in the very first round.
Vera’s debut in ONE FC will be the co-main event of the evening, with the clash between bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes and challenger Dae Hwan Kim headlining the event.
Earlier on the card, Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, and Honorio Banario of the famed Team Lakay will step into the cage, while fellow Filipino fighters Ana Julaton, Rene Catalan, and Jujeath Nagaowa are set to see action as well.
» Heart attack caused Chinese MMA fighter’s death in Manila
» 21-year-old Chinese MMA fighter dies ahead of Manila bout
» Brandon Vera crowned inaugural ONE heavyweight champion after 1st round KO win