Brandon Vera. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—Brandon Vera once challenged Aung La N Sang to become a two-division World champion in ONE Championship, but that wish came to a devastating end when the heavyweight titleholder literally dropped against the light heavyweight king.

After a disappointing end to his double title dream, Vera ultimately came to the realization that he will hust settle in his current  place atop the heavyweight division, but he offered Aung La a shot for his belt.

“I’d give anyone a shot at the heavyweight title if they are in line and challenging, champ-champ included,” said Vera.

“Of course, he gave me a shot at his championship belt. It would probably seem rude not to. Aung La is #1 right now. He’s the GOAT [greatest of all time] at ONE.”

Vera hasn’t lost a bout in ONE Championship but his four-fight winning streak came to a screeching halt when he dropped down to light heavyweight and suffered a second round technical knockout loss against Aung La in October 2019.

Aung La (26-10), who holds titles in two weight classes, will defend his middleweight championship against Reinier De Ridder (12-0) in ONE: Inside the Matrix and Vera sees his old foe coming out of the match with the win.

“Of course, I have Aung La winning this fight,” said Vera. “I’m very excited to watch the champ-champ compete again and do his thing. De Ridder better be in shape. Try and not let Aung La hit you.”

Both Aung La and De Ridder have a preposterous 92 percent stoppage rate in their professional careers but Vera predicts that the match would be a one-sided affair in favor of the Burmese Python.

“I don’t think this fight is going to be a war. The champ has grown past that. You might see flashes and bangs, even booms when needed,” said Vera. “But working with his team at Sanford MMA and Coach Henri Hooft, he [Aung La] is becoming a refined warrior. Technique plus power is what you are going to witness this Friday night.”


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