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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-25-2009, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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Surprise Leads Vera To Opportunity

SURPRISE LEADS VERA TO OPPORTUNITY



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Last Saturday night, light heavyweight Brandon Vera got an unexpected call.

His management asked him if he was training. He said yes. His management asked him to train harder—he was going to be fighting November 14 on a main event.

“I was like, ‘no I’m not,’” recalls Vera. “’I’m not fighting November 14th, you’re trippin.’” (My management) was like, ‘you’re going to fight Randy Couture.’”

“Hmmm,” Vera said. “Let me call you back.”

Just last month, he had dispatched Krzysztof Soszynski convincingly at UFC 102, an event headlined by Couture and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. Vera had trained with Nogueira for much of his camp and had simulated Couture in the gym. Now, less than three months away, he was going to headline a UK card against the idol.

Fight accepted. He would headline UFC 105 in Manchester, England against a five-time champion.

What's more, he can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t do the same in his position.

“It was funny to hear other people other turning the fight down,” he said. “I was like, c’mon man, what kind of fighter are you that you’re going to turn down a fight against Randy? Are you kidding me? C’mon.

“He’s one of my heroes, one of my idols. How are you gonna say no? That’s almost disrespectful. I had to say yes.”

The 31 year-old San Diego resident says the fight against Couture represents the ultimate measuring stick of his abilities. He wants the light heavyweight championship, and maybe more than that, to cement the feeling that he’s a complete mixed martial artist, an expert in his field.

In recent years, Vera has frustrated fans. After a string of highlight reel finishes, he’s looked overly tentative against fighters with half his striking pedigree. He’s rarely used his wrestling. He’s let guys off the hook.

He counters that there’s a method to his madness.

Last fight, it was switching stances to confuse and make vulnerable Team Quest’s Soszynski. It worked: Vera was one step ahead in the striking exchanges. Again, though, he failed to finish his opponent.

“I was trying to knock him out with my hands from a southpaw stance, instead of doing what I normally do,” explained Vera. “I was trying to switch it up, I guess. We wanted to try out some different things. I got to try out stuff during a live fight, so I can’t be too disappointed about my performance, other than I didn’t finish him. That sucks. It’s almost like you didn’t win.

“My whole thing is, I kick people in the face, I knee people in the face, I can submit people. Now, if I can go to the southpaw stance, and I’m knocking people out from the southpaw stance, people are gonna be like, ‘oh my God, now what am I gonna do with Vera?’”

He knows he won’t have any time to hesitate with Couture. Couture has already stated that he’d like to take Vera’s best weapon—his Muay Thai skills—away from him.

“I’m letting everything go with Mr. Couture,” laughed Vera. “You’ve got to. You can’t hold back with Randy. I’m gonna pull out every trick, everything I know.”

If he ends up on his back—so be it.

“It’s not a big deal,” said Vera. “Nobody’s seen me on the ground, except for once. Oh, twice. Once with Fabricio Werdum, but we won’t go there again.”

Vera says Couture’s fight with Nogueira revealed some things he can exploit, and after all, he’s simulated “The Natural.”

“Then again, Randy’s a master tactician,” said Vera. “If he were in the Army, he’d probably be one of the best generals in the world. He’s the master planner.”

Vera is already in camp at Alliance Training Center in San Diego and will remain there until he flies to Manchester a few weeks before the fight. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime, but it hasn’t set in yet.

“I’m excited,” he said. “The nerves aren’t hitting yet. The nerves will probably start to set in about halfway through the camp.

“It’s a big deal if you make it a big deal. For me, it’s more about the fight. I’m fighting Randy Couture. It doesn’t matter if it’s televised, not televised, main event, or a dark match. It’s not where I’m at on the card, it’s who I’m fighting. I don’t think there could be anything more exciting than the match itself.”
Source: http://www.mmaweekly.com/absolutenm/...=9654&zoneid=2

Thought this was a pretty good read, so figured I'd post it.


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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-25-2009, 10:24 PM
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Hopefully this is the sort of fight where he unleashes everything he can, otherwise it will probably end any title dreams he has anytime soon.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-25-2009, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cdtcpl View Post
Hopefully this is the sort of fight where he unleashes everything he can, otherwise it will probably end any title dreams he has anytime soon.
I agree! If he comes out the way he did against Mir, and just throws it all at Couture we could see a first round KO, but Couture is a master game planner, and generally executes his game plans flawlessly. Therefore, Vera needs to be on point and needs to go for the kill.


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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-25-2009, 10:51 PM
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I'm a fan of Vera so I like him getting this shot against Randy. He's definitely going to have to work on not get smothered and taken down by Randy. He got surprised by Jardine when he took him down in their fight but he knows what Randy brings to the table so he should be more ready. He's definitely going to have to combat Randy's clinch with his MT skills to punish Randy in close and work the leg kicks on the outside.

If he can keep it standing and not lose the clinch game when Randy comes in by peppering him with leg kicks and knees in the clinches he's got a decent shot in this fight. On his back I'd give the advantage to Randy, striking to Vera and the clinch work will probably decide who wins it. Very good match-up IMO.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-25-2009, 11:22 PM
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I think Vera will take this by UD. The only advantage that Randy is going to have in this fight is wrestling and it isnt a drastic advantage (people forget that Vera is also a very good wrestler). This just isnt a good fight for Randy.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-26-2009, 12:09 AM
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I'm a big fan of Vera and I see this fight going 60/40. Vera will be too quick for Randy and those mean leg kicks he has will wear him down.

I wish Vera would bulk up and go back to the HW division. If he could put on a solid, muscular 15 pounds he could be around 235, which is pretty average for a HW.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-26-2009, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by joshua7789 View Post
I think Vera will take this by UD. The only advantage that Randy is going to have in this fight is wrestling and it isnt a drastic advantage (people forget that Vera is also a very good wrestler). This just isnt a good fight for Randy.
I think you're underestimating Randy. Randy is one of my favorite fighters but I actually want Vera to win because I think it's his time to shine and I want him to have a title run only because he was pretty close to a title shot in the HW division until he lost to Tim.

But as Walker said, Randy is great at clinch work, and works people over once he gets them down. On the other hand Vera's jitz isn't that bad and he's also a Greco guy with MT skillz, so I'm pulling for him in this one but it can go either way.


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-26-2009, 02:59 AM
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Brandon Vera can put people to sleep all right. Unfortunately, those people are the fans watching the fight.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-26-2009, 10:13 AM
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I can actually see Vera winning this one. FOr some reason I just cant stand that little dance thing Vera does. All in all I hope Randy wins this one. 16-11 wouldnt look so hot for a legend and hall of famer.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 09-26-2009, 11:07 AM
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“It was funny to hear other people other turning the fight down,” he said. “I was like, c’mon man, what kind of fighter are you that you’re going to turn down a fight against Randy? Are you kidding me? C’mon.

“He’s one of my heroes, one of my idols. How are you gonna say no? That’s almost disrespectful. I had to say yes.”
Have to agree. Who in LHW was so dumb and turned the fight against Randy down? Even if you lose you'll be in main event with a ton of publicity. If you lose its against a legend like Randy so its not a career killing loss while if you win it could catapult you very close to a title shot depending about your previous fights.

Shame we wont know who the guys that turned the Randy-fight down are, would be cool if all the fight offers were public so we would have some facts to rely on when all those "fighter X is ducking fighter Y" -arguments are going on.
Im not exactly a Vera fan and I find him pretty overrated, but have to respect the guy for taking tough fights like this on and on even though he loses most of the fights.

"When I land that left hook, the fight will be over." -Paul Daley (He called it!)
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