Brandon Vera Q & A
Undefeated heavyweight Brandon
“The Truth” Vera (8-0) has a huge
fight on the horizon against the former UFC
heavyweight champion, Tim “The Maniac”
Sylvia (23-3), at UFC 77.
What makes this fight even
more interesting is how Vera will react after
being out of the cage for almost a year due
to serious management problems.
We recently caught up with
Vera to discuss his upcoming fight with Sylvia,
what caused the management trouble, and what
his interesting long-term goals are.
Question: How has your camp
been after the long lay-off?
Brandon Vera: The camp’s
been good, but I’m tired of training.
My coach has done a great job. We’ve brought
in a lot of big dudes. The biggest guy was 300
pounds but now he weights about 285. We’ve
been working him out.
Q: What are you weighing
in for the fight at?
BV: I’m not sure yet.
Some weeks I’m down to 217 and other weeks
I’m up to 225. We’ll see. I’m
not trying to cut weight.
Q: Will his size be big factor?
BV: Of course. Absolutely.
That’s why we brought in so many big guys.
Q: Who is the largest guy
you’ve fought in your career?
BV: I fought someone who
was 6’8” in a Muay Thai Fight.
Q: How did that fight go?
BV: I lost a split decision,
but the guy who beat me ended up winning the
tournament. We banged on each other for three
rounds. Neither of us could walk for two weeks
after. His coaches couldn’t believe how
tough the fight was.
Q: Do you think a win against
Sylvia would put you in line for a heavyweight
BV: It all depends on how
the fight goes. If I win the fight well, then
yes. Otherwise, I may not.
Q: Do you think it should
matter how you win the fight? Or should it just
matter if you win the fight?
BV: People have been telling
me I just concentrate on winning the fight,
but to me, I want to finish the fight. How you
finish the fight is important. That’s
what makes people want to watch you again. I
don’t ever want to leave the decision
in the judges’ hands.
Q: I can understand that.
We’ve seen some questionable decisions
lately – especially the Matt Hamill vs.
Michael Bisping fight.
BV: I can’t believe
that fight was even a split decision. One judge
scored the fight entirely for Bisping.. I was
like, “what the heck is going on?”
I don’t ever want to leave the fight in
someone else’s hands.
Q: You’ve been out
the cage for a while now. What have you been
BV: I’ve been training
really hard. I went up to Big Bear to train
with Rampage (Jackson), Cheick Kongo, and (Michael)
Bisping. It was great training with those guys.
I also went to Thailand and the Philipines.
Q: That’s right –
you were in Thailand for the Fight Girls show.
What do you think of the show?
BV: The show was awesome.
It was funny listening to the women talk. It
was pretty much exactly what you would expect
from putting a whole group of women together
in a house. My wife was on the show. She is
fighting again on November 17 in London.
Q: Is it hard for you to
watch your wife fight?
BV: It is. But she’s
real good, and she trains hard. She always asks
my opinion. We don’t train though together
except for cardio.
Q: Will she be at your upcoming
BV: Of course. For sure.
Q: The last guy to beat Sylvia
was, of course, Randy “The Natural”
Couture. Did you learn anything from watching
BV: Yes. Keep Tim guessing.
Keep your head moving and you’ll be fine.
Couture’s victory was Poetry in Motion.
Q: Another top heavyweight
has been in the news as well in Fedor Emelianenko.
Over the past few months, Dana White seemed
confident that Fedor Emelianenko would be coming
to the UFC. Now, he has signed with the M-1
Organization. What are your thoughts on Emelianenko?
BV: Everyone is beatable.
No one is unbeatable. Fedor, for sure, is beatable.
Just don’t stand there and slug with him.
Q: In the past, you’ve
mentioned your goal is to win both the heavyweight
and light-heavyweight titles. Is that still
BV: Of course it is. No one
has ever done that – hold both belts at
the same time. Best case scenario: I win the
heavyweight title then I drop down and win the
light heavyweight tile. Even if I have to give
up one of the belts, I can say that I did it
even if for just a few minutes. I always shoot
for the stars. I want to do what no one else
has ever done.
Q: Would it be hard to make
BV: 205 would not be a problem.
I can make it without even trying.
Q: You’ve been out
of the cage for a while now – due to what
many have referred to as “management issues”.
Is that true?
BV: Yes. My ex-manager Mark
Dionne was untruthful about some stuff with
the UFC. He did not tell me everything the UFC
saying. It made me not like the UFC for a time.
It made me think the UFC did not care what I
was doing. I felt disrespected, but none of
what Dionne said was true. I ended up getting
rid of (Dionne). I found out a lot of stuff
about Dionne did during arbitration. I got to
tell him exactly how I felt without putting
my hands on him and that was kind of cool. I
Q: While you were out, we
actually saw you at a Gary Shaw promoted boxing
event, Israel Vasquez for Rafael Marquez 1,
in Los Angeles, Ca. There were a lot of EliteXC
fighters there. Shaw even alluded to the fact
that EliteXC was close to signing you. What
BV: They never made an official
offer to me according to Mark Dionne. I guess
they were just throwing numbers around. I believe
that is why Mark did not tell me about the UFC’s
offer. Dionne liked the numbers EliteXC was
throwing at him instead. Dionne is a piece of
Q: What did you learn from
the experience with Dionne?
BV: I learned a lot. If anything
contract related is going on, the fighter should
be present. You need to trust your management
team, but for the final meeting, the athlete
should be there. That way you will keep honest
Q: How long is your new contract
with the UFC?
BV: It is a six-fight deal.
I think it’ll be close to two years for
the six fights.
Q: We’re getting close
to your big fight with Sylvia. Do you have a
prediction for the fight?
BV: I don’t like
to make predictions, but I will predict the
fight will not go to the judges – one
way or the other.