Vera sends fair warning to fighters after Kang-Aliakbari main event

Published March 6, 2021, 4:45 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Photo from Brandon Vera’s Facebook page

ONE Championship heavyweight king Brandon Vera reminded fighters to stay wary of the “person standing right in front of you” moments after the upset win of South Korea’s Kang Ji Won against Iranian foe Amir Aliakbari Friday night.

Vera, who is holed up in training camp with Sanford MMA in Florida, shared his sentiments on social media after witnessing the main event bout between Kang and Aliakbari in ONE: Fists of Fury II held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium via phone during a car ride.

Despite sustaining a bloodied face and swollen left eye, Kang had the last laugh after swiftly dodging the Iranian’s strike and countering it with a short left hook to the jaw that floored Aliakbari down the canvas.

It would be recalled that Aliakbari, a ONE Championship debutant, has set sights on Vera and seemed to bypass the South Korean warrior, who was deemed as the underdog coming into the fight.

For the Filipino-American champion, this could be a learning experience for all the fighters out there, especially those signed under the Singapore-based promotion. Nonetheless, it looks like all is well on Vera’s end.

“I know me and Amir had this thing going back and forth. I hope you rest well, speedy recovery, get ready for your next one,” said the 43-year-old Vera. “Like I’ve been telling everybody a long, long [time ago] man, it’s different here in Asia. It’s different in ONE Championship.”

Vera, who holds a 16-8 record, also gave shoutouts to all the fighters who participated in the “phenomenal” card.

He last saw action in the Circle in October 2019 when he yielded to light heavyweight champion Aung La N Sang of Myanmar. Both fighters are training together in Sanford MMA alongside former featherweight champion Martin Nguyen.

With Aliakbari’s defeat, Indian prospect Arjan Bhullar’s chances of facing Vera have relatively improved. The two heavyweights were scheduled to lock horns last May at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City but was scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic.