When it comes to fighters facing win-or-get-fired matches, no one loves to speculate as to who might be on the hot seat more than we do. But rarely does Dana White make it this easy. Speaking with the Canadian Press, White called into question Brandon Vera‘s motivation as a fighter and said in no uncertain terms that he needs to see the old “Truth” back in the Octagon:
“As soon as he had a few wins and all the money got involved and his new contract and his ex-manager and all that bullshit, he’s changed,” White lamented. “He’s not the same fighter he was. He needs to put all that shit behind him and he’s needs to come back and be the cocky, crazy Brandon Vera that I met a few years ago. That kid needs to come back.
“It seems that now the money’s involved, he doesn’t take chances like he used to, he doesn’t let his hands go like he used to. He’s got to come back and be the old Brandon Vera.”
That’s not what you want to hear from your boss a couple days before a big fight against someone as tough as Keith Jardine. So would White really consider cutting Vera is he loses at UFC 89? Naw, son. With the UFC looking to expand into the Phillipines, Vera’s too valuable right now. Plus he’s earned a little leeway. He’ll get at least a couple more chances to fuck up, but the message ought to be very clear nonetheless.
White wants the explosive, shit-talking Vera. The cautious, grind-out-a-boring-decision Vera? They’re all stocked up in the light heavyweight division. After all, they’ve already got one Lyoto Machida.