We’re just a few days away from UFC on FOX 4, which will be headlined by arguably the most confusing contender fight in modern UFC history. While most fans can kind of justify Shogun earning a title shot with a victory given his track record (especially if Hendo manages to put away Jones at UFC 151), Brandon Vera remains a gigantic question mark. With his most notable victory being a TKO over heavyweight Frank Mir back in 2006, it’s hardly a surprise that most fans and pundits are completely unable to make sense of this bout even headlining the card, yet alone being for a title shot.
If Brandon Vera attempted to justify all of this through his appearance on “Inside MMA,” he ended up just raising even more questions. Case in point: Vera talked about his training camp leading up to his bout with “Shogun” Rua. Aside from bringing back his Muay Thai coaches and sparring with Alexander Gustafsson, Vera commented that he was ”doing the things he should have been doing since day one.” Specifically, he’s actually caring now about his career. As he told the “Inside MMA” crew:
“I should have been caring, man. I should’ve understood that I fight in the UFC, where the greatest fighters from around the world congregate to compete for the number one spot. And I didn’t treat it like that for a long time. I didn’t treat it like that at all. So, I understand where I’m at now. I understand.”
Is it just me, or is this a Karo “Too Talented to Train” Parisyan level cop-out? Are we really to believe that “The Truth” was just coasting his way to an 8-5 (1) record against the toughest competition in our sport? Before you answer that, though:
“After a while, I probably stated that people should just lose because my name was Brandon Vera. My name was ‘The Truth.’ You lose because of who I was, not because of what I was doing or putting into the sport. Not what I was putting into the bank, how hard I was training or the hours I was putting in.”
On second thought, THAT is a Karo “Too Talented to Train” Parisyan level cop-out. Seriously, that’d make Tim Sylvia roll his eyes, and he tried to pull the “Do you know who I am?” card after getting his ass kicked by Abe Wagner.
What’s especially confusing about this is that a victory over Brandon Vera hasn’t meant anything in nearly six years. Since 2007, Vera has gone 4-5 (1) and has been saved twice from the chopping block by dropping a weight class and by an opponent’s positive steroid test. For him to have been pulling the “Do you know who I am” schtick the entire time is unbelievably pathetic. We’re talking Scott Hall in Fall River pathetic.
Besides, we’ve heard this hype from him before, and we’ve seen just how badly it ended. To be fair to Vera, that will happen when you’re in the cage with Jon Jones. That will also happen when you’re convinced that “Bones” is “just some young punk.” Via MMAWeekly:
“The very first time I fought Jon Jones, I thought he was just some young punk and I didn’t respect him at all. I got what I deserved. If and when I do get a chance to fight Mr. Jones again, I promise he’ll have my full and undivided attention.”
Oh for God’s sake. You’re in the UFC. Every opponent should have your full and undivided attention. And not that I’m calling Vera a liar, but it’s easier to claim that you didn’t care after a loss than it is to just admit that your opponent was just that much better than you (especially if you’re fighting for a rematch with said opponent). But I digress.
So now that you’ve been told that the unspectacular “Truth” you’ve been watching was simply buying his own hype, do you believe it? Does Vera come out looking better than ever against Rua, or does he get crushed, only to make new excuses? Let us know what you think.