MANILA, PHILIPPINES — It’s all about respect.
Filipino-American mixed martial arts star Brandon “The Truth” Vera is bent on claiming the ONE Championship heavyweight belt when he steps back in the cage come December 11 in front of his hometown fans.
He is set to battle Britain’s Chi Lewis “Chopper” Parry in “ONE: Spirit of Champions” at the Mall of Asia Arena for the inaugural ONE Championship heavyweight title.
“It’s always great to fight in the Philippines. I wish I could fight here every time,” quipped the 37-year-old at the ONE press conference held Wednesday at the City of Dreams Manila.
And there’s another reason why Vera is amped to fight before his home crowd: to make Parry shut up.
With eight KO victories to his name, Vera devastated Ukrainian heavyweight Igor Subora with a straight left and a flurry of kicks in his ONE Championship debut to the delight of his Filipino fans last year. Now, he is looking to do the same to Parry.
Parry has been making noise on microblogging site Twitter, talking trash and provoking Vera – calling him a “moron,” “chicken choker,” and everything else derogatory.
Standing at 6-foot-9 and with an unblemished 6-0 MMA fight record, Parry is literally not a light opponent for Vera. Still, this leaves him unfazed and threw caution to his trash-talking opponent.
“He’s a striker, he knows how to strike, he knows how to use his length, he knows how to use his height. He’s smart you know, he is not a dumb fighter,” Vera stated. “It’s going to be a challenge, but his biggest weakness is his speed. So I’m going to look to exploit that.”
“Parry’s been talking a lot of smack online, I’m not into that, I don’t take it personal. It’s my job, I’m good at my job and if this is a college degree I’d have three doctorates.”
“He’s going to learn a hard lesson that day. Just stay humble, you should be hungry, I am going to teach him all of that that evening. I am going to teach him respect that night, he’ll learn that day.”
“You don’t disrespect me. Most of all, you don’t disrespect me in my own country in front of my own people,” stressed Vera. “I’m gonna kill this dude and make him question why he’s here.”
Meanwhile, other confirmed fights for “ONE: Spirit of Champions” include another Filipino-American in Mark Striegl battling the undefeated Jordan “Showtime” Lucas.
He currently holds a 14-1 professional record, with 12 coming through submissions, and aims to tarnish Lucas’ perfect 8-0 record.
“He’s a tough fighter, he is 8-0 for a reason which means he is definitely talented, he’s a champion from Australia. But I’ll be fighting in Manila and no one is going to beat me in Manila, in front of my hometown fans,” warned Striegl.
Then there’s women’s boxing world champion Ana “Hurricane” Julaton, who squares off against Russian kickboxer Irina Mazepa, and Ruel Catalan, who will look to avenge his older brother’s loss to his opponent Alex Silva.
Tickets for ONE: Spirit of Champions are now available at all SM Tickets outlets.