For Brandon “The Truth” Vera, the number one rule in mixed martial arts (MMA) and life is just the same.
“No matter how many times you get knocked down you just get back up—it's the lifestyle of the Filipino, very resilient,” said the pro MMA fighter.
He attributes his willpower and courage on and off the octagon ring to his Filipino roots—he says resiliency is just one of the natural attributes of a true-blooded Filipino.
Proud of his Filipino heritage, Vera has been seen sporting on his back tattoos of baybayin characters, the ancient Filipino system of writing, spelling the vernacular Tagalog name for the four elements earth, wind, water and fire. He also speaks Tagalog fluently, thanks to his grandmother who taught him in their household while growing up in the United States.
Vera had his share of wins and losses in the ring, which he said has helped him become a better fighter physically and mentally. Vera suffered injury from a bout with Thiago Silva—who tested positive for PEDS—and took him out of the octagon for a while.
He also admitted in previous interviews that prior to that fight he was “super arrogant.” Veering off his old path, Vera said he now has a simple mantra: “stick to the game plan and listen to my coach instead of doing what I just wanted on the ring.”
“The belt used to be my focus but now I've learned focus only on the present fight because that's important,” said Vera.
As one of the active promoters of MMA in the country, Vera has been seen in the past attending the Pacific X-Treme Combat (PXC), an MMA organization based in Guam that aims to promote MMA in the Philippines.
In 2011, PXC made its debut in the Philippines with PXC 24.
Vera said he is “very excited” about the development and rise of the combat sport in the country.
“The MMA scene here is growing, it’s probably five to ten years behind the US but I see where it’s progressing with more instructors coming up here and there’s more exposure. So I think it’s going to come along just fine,” Vera said in an earlier interview.
He said he used to be involved in a lot of fights at a young age. But kids these days can be guided by their parents to enrol in martial arts classes to learn proper techniques, and practice self discipline and responsibility that comes with the knowledge.
His advice to aspiring MMA fighters: “Keep doing your thing and I promise you'll get there.”
He said fighting in the PXC will equate to being seen in the world so Filipino MMA fighters should always give their best inside the octagon.