It’s official from the ONE Championship chairman and CEO himself, Chatri Sityodtong that the legendary Brandon Vera will be coming back after a year’s hiatus to the Circle as he challenges Amir Aliakbari on the 3rd of December this year One at the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City.
The welcome and refreshing news of the comeback was broadcasted in an interview aired over at CNN Philippines Sports Desk. The match between Brandon Vera and Amir Aliakbari — two knockouts (KO) specialists have been wanting this inevitable grudge match as revealed by ONE Championship CEO Sityodtong.
“Two heavyweight KO artists are coming to meet. There is bad blood. Amir Aliakbari has talked trash to Brandon, while Brandon originally wanted to welcome Amir, and now we have it,” he said.
“He (Brandon) has a big task on his hand. Amir Aliakbari comes to a bang, he’s obviously a world-champion wrestler. He’s also a dangerous KO striker. This is something Filipino fan is gonna love,” he added.
“The Filipino fans have to come out and support their hometown hero in Brandon. He hasn’t fought in a couple of years because of COVID but he’s in the best shape of his life. The last couple of years he had a baby and I think he has a new motivation for fighting, but his body is very well rested now,” Sityodtong said.
The Chairman also expressed his own fearless forecast on the match between the two fighters would not last more than fifteen minutes. “I guarantee, this fight is going to end in the first or second round,” Sityodtong said.
Backgrounder on Vera’s one-year hiatus
Vera is fighting for the first time since losing the title belt to Arjan Bhullar last year.
The Filipino American mixed martial arts champion ended his five-year reign as the world heavyweight champion of ONE Championship on May 15 2021. It was a second-round technical knockout defeat against Canada-born Indian fighter Arjan Bhullar. This was at the ONE Championship: Dangal held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The match started roaring with then-43-year-old Vera showing aggressiveness in the first round. Throwing leg kicks and strong body shots against Bhullar. Bhullar then started to target Vera’s feet as well as evade his counter shots — that cut through the gameplan of Vera on how to finish the match.
Further details on the ONE Championship 164
The 45-year-old former heavyweight king will be joining Team Lakay members: Joshua Pacio, Danny Kingad, Geje Eustaquio, Jeremy Pacatiw, and Jenelyn Olsim as ONE returns to Manila, the last time being January 2020.
Aliakbari, 34, led a victorious TKO Mauro Cerilli last August to improve to an 11-3 slate.
Vera currently has a 16-9-0 win-loss-draw record with 11 knockouts.
Vera strongly expressed how he’s looking forward to the match and proving his volatility as a premier MMA fighter to fellow countrymen.
“I’m more than ecstatic to be coming back to Manila. This is reminiscent of my feelings from when ONE Championship first brought me out to Manila and we held the show at MOA that I was part of. I can’t wait for this event. I said yes before I even know who we were signing,” he said.
The Manila fight card will be featuring a morning event for the audience in America and a prime-time event in the evening.
Looking forward to getting a ticket to the fight folks! Nothing is more stunning than seeing a former MMA champion make a comeback especially when Vera is one of our own. Share the good news and may we all cheer our hearts out for Vera. Comment below and let us know how awesome this piece of news is.