ONE: Brandon Vera says he’d rather ‘die’ than lose in PH game

ONE Championship Fighter Brandon Vera.  –A CHAMPIONSHIP PHOTO

ONE Championship Fighter Brandon Vera. –A CHAMPIONSHIP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Brandon Vera doesn’t want to let Filipino fans down when he takes on Amir Aliakbari in a heavyweight bout in ONE 164: Pacio vs Brooks on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

In the first ONE Championship to be held in the Philippines during this pandemic era, the former ONE Heavyweight World Champion pledges to treat the home crowd with victory in their three-round match.

“I would much rather die in the circle than lose here in the Philippines,” Vera said during the press conference at Solaire Resort and Casino on Wednesday.

Iranian MMA star Aliakbari, however, is confident he will beat Vera, whose last fight ended in a TKO loss to Arjan Bhullar on April 28, 2021 in Singapore.

“I came here to the Philippines just to fight Vera. My goal is just to beat him,” Aliakbari said.

Vera assured his Filipino fans that he prepared hard for his ONE comeback after months of hiatus.

“Sobrang excited like lumaban ulit, but the icing on the cake was lalaban like rito in Manila like in bansa. Sobrang important itong laban na to sakin,” he said. “We got the whole group together. I flew sparring partners to Guam. We had college wrestlers coming in to practice. I’ve been doing strength and conditioning since March.

The 45-year-old Filipino-American is eager to step into the circle and defeat Aliakbari.

“Ready na ready na ako rito. Hinihintay ko, handa mo na puwet mo Ali ah,” Vera said.


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