Brandon Vera received more than a bruised ego on Sunday at the 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, Colo.; a fearsome elbow strike from opponent Jon Jones left the UFC light heavyweight with facial fractures and an unknown return date.
In the night's Versus-televised main event, Jones landed the blow as he postured up in Vera's guard midway through the first round. Vera rolled to his side in visible pain when the shot slammed into the right side of his face near his eye socket.
The strike caused three fractures in Vera's right cheekbone, the fighter's manager, Matt Stansell, today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
"The whole right side of Brandon's face was numb," Stansell said.
Vera (11-5 MMA, 7-5 UFC), 32, was tasked with stopping the advance of Jones (10-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC). The 22-year-old burst onto the UFC scene in 2008 and racked up a series of of impressive victories marred only by a lone disqualification loss to Matt Hamill this past December at The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale.
The UFC on Versus 1 main-event fight was Vera's second consecutive loss, which includes a unanimous-decision defeat to Randy Couture at UFC 105 this past November. Vera still disputes the scores of the fight, which all went 29-28 in Couture's favor.
Vera will see a facial specialist this week, at which time a timetable for his return should be determined, Stansell said. The Colorado Office of Boxing, which oversees MMA events in the state, hasn't yet released the list of mandatory medical suspensions from UFC on Versus 1. Vera likely will need clearance from a doctor before he can be licensed to fight again.
Since dropping from heavyweight light heavyweight in July 2008, Vera is 3-3 in the UFC's 205-pound division.
For more on UFC on Versus 1, check out the UFC Events section of MMAjunkie.com.