It was, after all, more than two decades of battling it out and making the best out of every match for MMA veteran Brandon Vera. He has now decided to retire from the sport following a defeat to Amir Aliakbari at Saturday’s ONE Championship 164 card in Manila, Philippines.
The match with Amir Aliakbar started off slowly with a series of punches. This saw Aliakbar patiently waiting for the right moment to strike and he indeed delivered. Once he had Vera on his back, Aliakbari landed a series of vicious punches and elbows that forced referee Herb Dean to call the TKO finish.
The 45-year-old Vera once had a promising career during his heyday when he was still in the UFC from 2005 to 2013, fighting the likes of Jon Jones and Randy Couture among others.
In 2014, Vera signed with ONE Championship where he became the inaugural heavyweight champion.
Vera defended his title twice before losing to Arjan Bhullar by stoppage last year.
Before the pandemic, Vera tried to become a double champion but lost to then-light heavyweight king Aung La N Sang in 2019.
Related news article: Brandon Vera Roars Back vs Amir Aliakbari: MOA Dec. 3, 2022
Jarred Brooks grabbed the title from former champion Joshua Pacio for the ONE strawweight championship. This was with a unanimous decision victory in the main event of ONE 14 held at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday.
Pacio was the world champion since April 2019 after overpowering Yosuke Saruta. Brooks dominated the match with Pacio with his incredible level of grappling. Pacio was forced to be on the defence for most of the fight and couldn’t overcome Brooks’s control of how the match was taking place. Pacio’s needed heave to get a great offence was not possible with Brooks’s solid moves.
Before the bout, Brooks let go of a mishmash of harsh words against his opponent. But has since expressed, “Most respect to Joshua Pacio and Team Lakay… I know I had some choice words but I’m just trying to make this fight as well as anybody,” said Brooks after the fight.
Team Lakay now sees a 2-5 for the day with only Jeremy Pacatiw and Jhanlo Sangiao taking victories. Those who suffered defeats were Jenelyn Olsim, Adonis Sevilleno and Geje Eustaquio. Eduard Folayang also faltered in the morning card at ONE Fight Night 5.
Here’s the complete ONE 164 results below.
- Jarred Brooks def. Joshua Pacio via unanimous decision
- Amir Aliakbari def. Brandon Vera via TKO (punches, elbows) — Round 1, 3:37
- Hu Yong def. Geje Eustaquio via KO (punch) — Round 1, 4:43
- Jeremy Pacatiw def. Tial Thang via submission (triangle choke) — Round 2, 1:17
- Drex Zamboanga def. Adonis Sevilleno via unanimous decision
- Jhanlo Mark Sangiao def. Anacleto Lauron via submission (rear-naked choke) — Round 1, 1:48
- Meng Bo def. Jenelyn Olsim via KO (punches, elbows) — Round 1, 0:24
- Superlek Kiatmoo9 def. Panpayak Jitmuangnon via split decision
- Tagir Khalilov def. Chorfah Tor.Sangtiennoi via TKO (punches) — Round 1, 2:29
- Lara Fernandez def. Dangkongfah Banchamek via split decision
Brandon on retiring and beyond
Vera left his gloves inside — a gesture signaling his retirement from MMA and he was warmly welcomed with a standing ovation as he exited from the ONE Circle.
“Pasensya ha. Kababayan, dito at sa buong mundo, ang tagal ko nang ginagawa ito, mga 20 plus years na. Eto ngayon, you just witnessed ‘The Truth”s very last fight in MMA.” an emotional Vera said after the fight.
“I wish I could’ve gone out with the win, I broke my damn hand again, p********. Mahal ko kayong lahat. Salamat sa inyong pagmamahal sa akin. I love you all, thank you for everything that you’ve given me MMA, ONE Championship.” he added.
“Eto ngayon (and now) you just witness The Truth’s very last fight in MMA. I wish I could’ve come out with a win,” added Vera.
“Thank you for all the love,” said Vera, who compiled a 16-10 record.
Vera was among the five Filipino world champions who simultaneously held their belts at the end of 2018, which marked a golden age for the country in ONE Championship.
Vera promised his fans that they will be seeing him again — this time on the movie screen. “To all my fans around the world, even though I’m not in here, you’ll see me on the big screen. We just signed a 10-movie deal here in the Philippines,” said Vera. “Panoorin niyo yung pelikula ko.” he quipped.
Vera finished his MMA career with a 16-10, 1 NC record.
And that’s how Vera gracefully exited from his MMA path. I will definitely look forward to being able to buy tickets to see his upcoming movie. After all, he gave his all in getting back into the ring despite the odds that he faced. That’s courageous enough to do so. Any comments dear readers? Just let us know your thoughts on Vera’s next chapter or any topic that you’d like us to feature on our pages. Hope to hear from you soon, cheers!