Atreyu Timothy Craven Vera was born on July 25, 2020 in Guam. He is the first child of reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera, 42, and his wife Jessica Renee Craven Vera.
For Brandon, becoming a father was a surreal experience, a milestone in the Filipino-American mixed martial artist’s life. He shared, “It is easier to wake up.”
“I can agree with this statement,” Brandon continued. “I feel more motivated. I get tired less. I don’t know how and why but that happened.”
Brandon and Jessica announced their engagement in April 2017. They got married in Guam on April 20, 2018.
“I can’t describe how Atreyu was born just like I can’t describe what it’s like to win in the ONE circle,” the reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion said. “It’s two peas in the same pod. No words would ever do that justice.”
As an MMA fighter, Brandon has been competing professionally since 2002. Becoming a father has been a dream for him and he is excited to raise Atreyu and teach him the ways of martial arts.
“There was one moment when Atreyu first came out,” Brandon recalled. “I was in such joy that I threw my arms up in the air and looked straight up at the ceiling and started crying and smiling, thinking, ‘Wow, this is what everyone talks about.’”
From 2002 to 2006, Brandon was undefeated. He first competed in Excalibur Extreme Fighting Challenge, Next Level Fighting and World Extreme Cagefighting before making his debut in the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2005.
From 2005 to 2013, Brandon had 16 UFC fights. He defeated eight opponents in the United States-based MMA promotion namely Fabiano Scherner, Justin Eilers, Assuerio Silva, Frank Mir, Reese Andy, Michael Patt, Krzysztof Soszynski and Eliot Marshall.
When Brandon made his ONE Championship debut in 2014, he knocked out Igor Subora. In 2015, Brandon won the inaugural ONE Heavyweight World Championship belt by knocking out Paul Cheng.
As a ONE Championship champion, Brandon successfully defended his belt twice. He knocked out Hideki Sekine in 2016 and Mauro Cerilli in 2018.
While Brandon is dedicating his time now to becoming the best father he can be to Atreyu, he is still very much focused on continuing with his professional MMA career.
“Everybody keeps saying priorities change,” Brandon said. “I am not of that same mindset. Family has always been number one for me.”
“I have been waiting for a long time to change diapers, feed the baby and train with my child in the gym,” Brandon continued. “All plans are still the same. We’re the world Champ. We act accordingly and we keep our title until we decide it is time for the next step.”
Currently, there are eight fighters in ONE Championship’s heavyweight division waiting to challenge Brandon namely Cerilli, Alain Ngalani, Alexandre Machado, Arjan Bhullar, Amir Aliakbari, Myung Hyun Man, Anatoly Malykhin and Marcus Almeida. Now, Brandon is more driven to continue his MMA success and raise his son to the best of his ability.
“Honestly, I re-realize I’m a father every day I open my eyes and see him,” Brandon said. “Being a father is not only a very important path in life, it’s also a very serious one for me where my teachings and actions will and can help mold Atreyu into a person to help this world.”