Brandon Vera | “The Truth”
Ht: 6’2 – Wt: 205 – Age: 35
Born: Virginia, USA
Fights out of: San Diego, CA, USA
Team: Team Lloyd Irvin | Alliance MMA
Overall Record: 12-6
UFC Record: 8-6
Brandon Vera was a former top-flight prospect in the UFC heavyweight division, but after management issues and a lack of commitment Vera has fallen far short of expectations. Vera came from a wrestling background before making his way to mixed martial arts in 2002. Vera won his first 4 fights including a 4-man, 1-night tournament in the WEC where he defeated Mike Whitehead via 2nd round TKO. Vera signed with the UFC in 2005 and his career immediately took off, winning his first 4 fights via finish over Fabio Scherner, Justin Eilers, Assuerio Silva, and former UFC champion Frank Mir. The stage was set for Vera to possibly challenge for the UFC heavyweight title, but Vera’s management and the UFC could not reach an agreement and Vera’s career stood idle for almost a year. Upon his return, Vera faced off against former champion Tim Sylvia at UFC 77. Vera broke his hand early in the fight and lost his first career bout via unanimous decision. Vera looked to bounce back against BJJ specialist Fabricio Werdum, but Vera was quickly put on his back and mounted in the 1st round. The ending was deemed controversial as the referee stopped the fight with just a few seconds left in the round, but Vera nonetheless was mired in a 2-fight losing streak. Vera decided to drop down to the light heavyweight division following the losses, and won a fairly lackluster decision over Reese Andy in his 205 lbs. debut. Vera continued to struggle as he lost a close decision to Keith Jardine before picking up wins over Mike Patt and Krzysztof Soszynski. Vera received the opportunity of a lifetime though as was inserted into the main event of UFC 105 opposite former champion Randy Couture. Vera landed some big knees that nearly had Couture finished, but he failed to pull the trigger throughout the bout despite having Couture badly hurt. Vera went on to lose a controversial decision. Vera moved on to face future UFC champion Jon Jones in a fight that he was completely dominated in, losing via 1st round TKO, and suffering extensive facial damage from Jones’ elbow strikes. Vera was out of action for nearly 9 months before making his return at UFC 125 against Thiago Silva. Vera struggled to defend against Silva’s takedowns throughout the fight and was punished with ground ‘n’ pound for the majority of each round. Vera lost a one-sided decision and was released by the UFC shortly thereafter. Following the bout, Silva was found to have been using illegal substances and the fight result was later changed to a no-contest. Vera was brought back to the UFC following the debacle. Vera faced off with TUF 8 alum Eliot Marshall upon his return, and despite being the heavy favorite, Vera struggled in the later rounds as Marshall nearly had Vera finished with strikes and an armbar attempt. Vera made it to the final horn where he was questionably awarded a decision victory.
Vera fought twice in 2011, though his loss against Thiago Silva was officially changed to a no-contest.
Vera faced off against fellow striker Thiago Silva at UFC 125. Vera showed off some solid kicks early, but Silva scored the takedown and began to dominate the round with heavy ground ‘n’ pound and top control. The 2nd and 3rd rounds saw much of the same as Vera would land a few strikes before Silva scored a takedown to control the better portion of each round. The 3rd round saw Silva badly break Vera’s nose while also firing off some embarrassing slaps to the body of Vera. In the end, Silva took home a one-sided unanimous decision as Vera was cut from the UFC.
A few weeks later it was revealed that Thiago Silva had tested positive for illegal substances and his win over Vera was changed to a no-contest. The UFC re-signed Vera shortly thereafter.
Vera looked to bounce back against Eliot Marshall at UFC 137. Vera started off the fight connecting on a few solid leg and body kicks. Marshall was able to land his own solid strikes including a flurry that had Vera hurt. In the 2nd round, Vera continued to attack with his kicks as Marshall attempted to bring the fight to the floor. Vera decided to turn the tables and take Marshall down, but he was unable to land much offense. The fight was close going into the final round, and Marshall sensed the need to go for the finish, immediately rocking Vera with punches. Vera did a good job recovering, but Marshall was still on the attack. Marshall ended up taking Vera’s back and began working for the rear-naked choke, but soon transitioned to a deep armbar that looked to be tight. Vera managed to escape and score a few punches from top position to end the fight. The 3rd round was definitely a 10-8 round for Marshall, but in the end the judges suspiciously scored the fight for Vera via unanimous decision.
The promise that surrounded Brandon Vera’s career vanished long ago. Vera’s career is a lesson to any young prospect that begins to believe in their own hype. Vera has never evolved as a fighter, though he has continually stated before every fight that he is a new fighter. Vera seems to possess the components of a talented fighter, but his mental fortitude is just not there. Vera has never really applied himself towards a strength and conditioning program, instead simply believing he could get by on his natural abilities. Vera should have been back on the independent circuit following a miserable 2011, but he was brought back following the Silva debacle and then gifted a decision over Marshall. One would think that Vera would have came back re-invigorated in his fight with Marshall, but it was simply the same story with Vera not stepping up to the plate. Vera is now 34 years old and is no longer considered a prospect, so the time is now or never for him, though many have been saying that for the last few years.
Brandon Vera Fight Record
Overall Record: 12-5
2008-2011 Record: 4-4
2011 Record: 1-0
Win | Eliot Marshall | Dec | Rd 3 | UFC | 10/29/2011
NC | Thiago Silva | NC | Rd 3 | UFC | 01/01/2011
2010 Record: 0-1
Loss | Jon Jones | Tko | Rd 1 | UFC | 03/21/2010
2009 Record: 2-1
Loss | Randy Couture | Dec | Rd 3 | UFC | 11/14/2009
Win | Krzysztof Soszynski | Dec | Rd 3 | UFC | 08/29/2009
Win | Michael Patt | Tko | Rd 2 | UFC | 03/07/2009
2008 Record: 1-2
Loss | Keith Jardine | Dec | Rd 3 | UFC | 10/18/2008
Win | Reese Andy | Dec | Rd 3 | UFC | 07/19/2008
Loss | Fabricio Werdum | Tko | Rd 1 | UFC | 06/07/2008