Losing is not an option for ONE heavyweight champion Brandon Vera, especially not on his home soil.
The charismatic Fil-American fighter, who is making his second defense of the title in ONE: Conquest of Champions, said he would rather lose his life than lose his crown in full view of the Filipino fans at Mall of Asia Arena on Friday.
“I would rather die than lose in the Philippines. Hindi ko kaya yun (I can’t take that),” said the 41-year-old Vera during the press conference for the event on Tuesday at City of Dreams Manila.
Vera has been away from the action for two years since he pummeled Hideki Sekine into submission to keep the belt, which was also witnessed the adoring hometown crowd at the same venue of his upcoming fight.
But there’s no doubt in Vera’s mind that he’s ready for a monster of a challenger in Mauro Cerilli, a champion in Cage Warriors who has won all but one of his last five fights by way of knockout.
Vera, who juggled filming the highly-acclaimed movie “Buy Bust” while keeping in top shape during his break, guarantees that rust is not going to be an issue on Friday.
“Hindi naman kinakalawang talaga ang tao eh, diba?” said Vera with a smile. “Kinakabahan. Kalawang, wala. Sigurado pag tinamaan ako ni Cerilli, mawawala din yun. Basta ready na talaga, sobra.
(Human’s don’t get rusty, right? I’m nervous, yes. But rusty, no. Maybe when Cerilli hits me, it will go away. I’m really, really ready.)
While his career in a different arena has taken off since he last stepped in the cage, Vera said that hasn’t affected his hunger to win.
“As much as I delivered, I’m giving even more. And I wanted it more now,” he said.
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