Brandon Vera retires from MMA after loss at ONE 164


ONE Championship heavyweight fighter Brandon Vera. –ONE CHAMPIONSHIP

MANILA, Philippines—Brandon Vera on Saturday announced his retirement after a 20-year career in mixed martial arts.

Vera called it a career after losing to Amir Aliakbar by technical knockout in the first round of their heavyweight clash in ONE 164 at Mall of Asia Arena.

“Pasensya na. Kababayan, ang tagal ko nang ginagawa ‘to mga 20 plus years na (I’m sorry. To my fellow Filipinos, I’ve been doing this for a long time. It’s been 20 plus years),” said Vera, addressing the Filipino crowd.

“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, who also said he broke his hand during the fight.

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.

“Thank you for all the love,” said Vera, who compiled a 16-10 record.

Vera, who has also become a movie star in the Philippines, left his gloves on the cage and exited while carrying his son as cheers of “Vera” serenaded him.

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