At 43-year-old, reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera believes that he is in the best shape of his life.
And he is confident heading into his bout with Arjan Bhullar on ONE: Dangal on May 15 — a bout that has been a year in the making.
And Vera is relieved that it is finally happening.
“We’re both training for each other for a long time now, I’m very excited for this matchup and I’m glad it’s finally happening,” Vera, who last fought back in October of 2019, told Power & Play.
Vera is coming off a loss during ONE: Century Part II.
During the mega event held in Japan, the old veteran suffered his first loss in the promotion, bowing to then-ONE Light Heavyweight World Champion Aung La N Sang in the second round.
At heavyweight, however, Vera remains unbeaten, stopping all four contenders that have been placed in front of him.
But with his age, many are saying that he should retire while he is still on top. The Filipino-American though has yet to hear a ‘voice’ telling him to do so.
“I always refer to my elders, those who retired before me. I always ask them when did you know you’re gonna retire?” he wondered.
“Their answer is always the same — one day you’ll wake up. You’re not gonna want to be sore anymore, don’t want anybody gonna punch you, don’t want to be kicked in the leg anymore,” continued Vera, who has been fighting since 2002 and has 25 bouts under his belt.
“So when will I gonna know? All they say is, ‘Brandon you’ll know when you know.’ Sabi ko, ‘Ngayon, hindi pa.'”
With the fire in him still there, Vera vows to atone for his loss against N Sang by stopping the Indian heavyweight who owns a 10-1 record.
For him to do that, he has to be mentally sharp all throughout the 25-minute affair.
“Arjan will give me a hard time with his boxing, head movement, and his wrestling. Those are the three biggest key scoring components for him. And I will have to turn off all three of them.”