Brandon “The Truth” Vera, 42, of the Philippines may defend his ONE Heavyweight World Championship title from Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida, 30, of São Paulo, Brazil soon. The latter just recently joined the Singapore-based martial arts organization ONE Championship.
“So I had to look up the proper name because I only know that monster as Buchecha,” Vera said of Almeida. “He is a phenomenal athlete. I am very lucky to have the opportunity to possibly meet him in the ONE Circle and it’s not just him.”
“ONE signed a plethora of amazingly talented heavyweights,” Vera continued. “I’m going to train right now.”
Amid the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Vera is spending much needed quality time with his wife Jessica Renee Craven Vera and their first child Atreyu Timothy Craven Vera in Guam. Atreyu was born on July 25, 2020 in the unincorporated territory of the United States in Micronesia in the western Pacific Ocean.
On July 31, 2020, EVOLVE Mixed Martial Arts announced that Almeida has joined the EVOLVE Fight Team, which is based in Singapore. A 13-time Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion, he has 128 victories and 13 losses in his grappling career.
“It’s a very welcome challenge,” Brandon said. “My grappling and jiu-jitsu lineage is full of schools of hard knocks from Master Lloyd Irvin to Dean Lister to Andre Galvao, my catch-wrestling coach Neil Melanson and everyone in between. I’m very confident in my jiu-jitsu capabilities.”
Including Brandon and Almeida, there are currently nine fighters in ONE Championship’s heavyweight division. The others are Alain Ngalani, Alexandre Machado, Arjan Bhullar, Amir Aliakbari, Myung Hyun Man, Anatoly Malykhin and Mauro Cerilli.
“I am very familiar with his grappling accolades,” Brandon said of Almeida. “He has beaten the best in the world and at any given moment, at any weight, he is one of the top two grapplers in the world against anyone. I am very excited he is making the transition to MMA.”
“I think it is the correct progression after you win 13 world titles in grappling,” Brandon continued. “There is no one else for you to beat there. (I am) looking forward to watching him and maybe even competing against him.”
As the reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion, Brandon has successfully defended his belt twice. He knocked out Hideki Sekine in 2016 and Cerilli in 2018.
“The level of competition has just increased exponentially,” Brandon said. “ONE Championship is making a very comfortable home for the big boys and giving me a lot of work to do. I’m looking forward to all of it.”