ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera, 41, of the Philippines is one tough fighter but calling out an opponent inside the cage is not something he is comfortable. This was what he had to do at “ONE: A New Era” at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo, Japan on March 31, 2019.
In the main event of “ONE: A New Era,” Aung La N Sang, 33, of Myanmar successfully defended his ONE Middleweight World Championship belt from Ken Hasegawa, 32, of Japan in their rematch. After their bout, Vera entered the cage and expressed his interest in challenging the Burmese champion, who is also the reigning ONE Light Heavyweight World Champion.
With the permission of ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong, Vera congratulated Aung on his win before humbly and respectfully challenging the Burmese champion for the light heavyweight title. Recently, the Filipino-American mixed martial arts veteran revealed, “I wasn’t very comfortable doing that inside the cage.”
“It was Aung La N Sang‘s time to shine but I’ve been wanting to become a double titleholder, a champ-champ, and I’ve always wanted to challenge for the ONE Light Heavyweight World Title,” Vera continued. “I just happened to be in Tokyo, the next event I wanted to compete on is in Tokyo and I think it would be a beautiful main event or co-main event. When I went in there, I was very nervous not about challenging but doing it in the most respectful way that Aung La deserves, especially after he just won his ONE Middleweight World Championship bout against Ken Hasegawa.”
“It was super weird and super nerve-wracking, kind of awkward but kind of awesome at the same time,” the reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion added. “I got to talk to Aung La after we got out of the cage and now I’m feeling more comfortable about challenging him like that.”
The superbout between Vera and Aung will be the main event of the second part of “ONE: Century 世紀.” Marking the 100th live event of ONE Championship, it will take place at the Ryogoku Kokugikan on October 13, 2019.
There will be two main events in the first part. Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, 32, of the United States will face Danny “The King” Kingad, 23, of the Philippines in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix Championship and ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan, 31, of China will challenge ONE Women’s Atomweight World Champion “Unstoppable” Angela Lee, 22, of Singapore.
Meanwhile, here is Vera in an open workout in the Philippines in November 2018: