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oldfan 06-15-2012 01:14 PM

Brandon Vera Gets His "Golden" Opportunity


While the continued string of injuries has wreaked havoc on the UFC's schedule this summer, it hasn't been bad for everyone involved. To the contrary, at least one fighter has gotten a massive boost from a fight falling apart, as Brandon Vera has found himself in a Fox main event with an injury to Brian Stann.

Vera was initially scheduled for a fight against James Te Huna at UFC on Fuel 4 in July, and now he'll be facing former Champion Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in one of the most widely available platforms for the UFC. For a fighter who has had his fair share of struggles in recent years, this is a massive opportunity.

"This is a golden ticket," Vera said on Monday in an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. "I need this, this could almost become the defining moment of my career, through all the good, the bad and the ugly. If I do this the way I'm supposed to, the way I can, the world will start following. I'm not ready to let my story come to an end. I'm not ready to retire, I'm not ready to hang up the gloves."

The 34-year-old Vera was a highly regarded fighter at one time, moving to an 8-0 mark in his career with a 2006 smashing of former Heavyweight Champ Frank Mir. However, in the five and a half years since that fight, Vera's gone just 4-5 with one no contest in ten fights. He's a far cry from the potential title challenger he was in 2006, but this fight represents a chance to get back into the top end of a division.

Not only that, it's a chance for Vera to fight someone he's had on his mind for a long time. Rua, the former Pride and UFC Champion, is one of the more highly regarded strikers in the division, and Vera's excited about the possibilities in this matchup.

"I've been wanting to fight 'Shogun' since he's been kicking people in the face in PRIDE," Vera said. "His standup is amazing. He's from Chute Boxe, he's from the old school. If 'Shogun' wants to stand there and bang with me, I'll love him even more."

"On the feet, we're going to find out if my standup is better than 'Shogun's'. ... 'Shogun's' got great standup. His transitions aren't as clean as his standups, his ground isn't a clean as his standups on top or bottom. His ground and pound is awesome, but if you had to pick a weaker part of his game, it would be everything but his standup."

Vera knows that most fans don't believe in him into the fight. He understands he'll be considered a major underdog against the former Champion. However, he's not letting that get under his skin, and he's fine going out to prove his doubters wrong.

"Go ahead, bet your house on the other guy," he said. "You don't have to believe me. Just watch on August 4. After my performance against Eliot Marshall they're supposed to be counting me out. I'm supposed to show up and get my ass whupped. That's what's supposed to happen. But it's not going down like that on August 4. Everyone is expecting me not to beat him. I don't mind being the underdog, that's when I'm at my best."
I know what the experts and the ex spurts think about this one and I don't care. This is one of the things I love about this sport. You just don't see opportunities like this in other big leagues. (as often)

Brandon has the chance to be more than he has been, more than anyone thinks he can be. Anyone who thinks it just can't happen should rewatch shogun vs Coleman.

I'll be cheering for you Brandon :thumbsup:

cdtcpl 06-15-2012 01:28 PM

I think Vera takes this in a hard fought decision win.

Stapler 06-15-2012 06:34 PM

I'm not exactly a fan of either fighter, but I'll be hoping Vera picks up the win here. He's such an underdog that is so desperate to get back into the picture. He should have 100% motivation to train as hard as he can for this fight. A win would surely revive his career in the UFC.

LL 06-15-2012 06:46 PM

Eliot Marshall dropped him, broke his arm, and nearly beat him.

Shogun will run through him.

HaVoK 06-15-2012 07:07 PM

It would be cool to see Vera win. I use to really enjoy watching him fight. It seemed to me, once he fell on tough times he fought too conservatively. Fighting not too lose, rather then fighting to win. Hopefully he reverts back to that exciting, aggressive style. He always claims he his going to, but fails to do so once the fight starts. Of course, it is always easier said then done. And this is his livelihood after all.


Originally Posted by TheLyotoLegion (Post 1593905)
Eliot Marshall dropped him, broke his arm, and nearly beat him.

Shogun will run through him.

Fight arithmetic rarely pans out.

No_Mercy 06-15-2012 07:18 PM

Vera is a front runner. Breaks down mentally and under utilizes his skill sets; BJJ and even Muay Thai. The world of sports are filled with talent, only a select few reach their full potential. Vera's time has passed, even if he wins against Shogun. The likes of Phil Davis, Bader or even Brilz can easily nullify him. Heck Tito can take em easily.

Shogun's gonna stand if they don't knock each other out he's gonna eventually go for his gable grip, leg trip takedown, landing into side mount and basically rain down hammer firsts eventually going for full mount or taking the back and getting a TKO or RNC victory.

Also worth mentioning. Vera is going up against one of the most mentally tough fighters in MMA especially when he's in shape. Shogun with solid conditioning puts on Gladiator type fights as demonstrated recently. Seriously I can't remember too many fighters taking on full on H-bomb shots other than Rampage.

This fight isn't going to be pretty.

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