Fighting out of Italy, Mauro “The Hammer” Cerilli, 35, is set to challenge reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera, 41, of the Philippines at “ONE: Conquest of Champions.” The two had their face-off during an open workout at Victory Sports Tower in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines on November 16, 2018.
Right after the workout, I had a short interview with Cerilli with the help of his coach Lorenzo Borgomeo as the translator. Here is the transcript of the interview, which has been slightly edited for brevity and clarity:
CONAN ALTATIS: How does it feel to fight a hometown hero?
MAURO CERILLI: I am very excited and very honored at the same time and very, very happy to have a good chance to fight against him.
CA: I’m sure you watched and studied Brandon Vera’s previous fights. How do you describe him as a fighter?
MC: He is a very good and well-rounded fighter and he will surely come out like a super exciting fighter.
CA: This is your first bout in ONE Championship, which is often compared to the UFC in terms of the fighters’ behaviors. Was that a factor when you decided to join ONE Championship?
MC: I am very happy to have chosen ONE Championship because I love the approach of the organization. I think ONE does not choose the business approach or the entertainment part. The organization would rather have good fights and good spirits, which were what I was really looking for. I think I find my home here.
CA: Any message to ONE Championship fans and to Brandon Vera?
MC: For the fans, I hope that I can be your champion. For Brandon, it is an honor to be able to compete against you and I’m sure we’re gonna give an amazing fight to the fans.
Co-headlined by Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 34, of the Philippines and Amir Khan, 23, of Singapore, “ONE: Conquest of Champions” will take place at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines on November 23, 2018. Meanwhile, watch my short interview with Cerilli here: