ONE heavyweight champion Brandon Vera is grateful for the learning experience after spending training camp with Florida-based stable Sanford MMA.
Under the tutelage of coach Henri Hooft, Vera had trained alongside ONE Championship stars and forrmer world champions Aung La N Sang and Martin Nguyen in preparation for his much-awaited comeback in the Circle.
“Making this move to Sanford MMA and making this commitment, it’s taken a lot of stress away from me as an athlete,” Vera, who holds a 16-8 record, told ONE Championship.
“I can just concentrate on being a student of the game and trying to catch up to everyone else in the room. I don’t have to worry about anything. I just have to make sure that I can finish practice and that I’m being a good training partner.”
Vera, 43, has been away from the mixed martial arts scene since suffering defeat at the hands of Aung La in their middleweight championship bout last October 2019.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Vera had spent most of his time in Guam with wife Jessica Craven and son Atreyu.
The Filipino-American is confident with his improved skillset, especially with his ground game.
“It’s not something that everyone talks about, but I’ve trained with the best people in the entire world. From Dean Lister to the Ribeiro brothers, to Lloyd Irvin to Mike Fowler to Renzo Gracie, too. The list goes on and on,” added Vera.
“My jiu-jitsu is underrated because I don’t really like to be on the ground or looking for submissions. I’d much rather be on my feet trying to finish it, but if it goes to the ground, let’s see. Maybe I’ll pull it out. Maybe I’ll just get back to my feet. I don’t know. We’ll find out when we get there.”
This will come in handy against a well-rounded opponent in Arjan Bhullar, a former Olympian and a UFC fighter, who is known for both his dangerous striking and technical wrestling.
READ: Bhullar all set vs Vera
Though Vera deemed Bhullar as a dangerous opponent, the ONE heavyweight king vowed to make a statement and take the belt home once more.
The Vera-Bhullar bout was initially scheduled in May last year but was eventually postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two heavyweight stars will finally lock horns in ONE: Dangal at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on May 15.