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Tag: Brandon Vera

And Now He’s Hired: Brandon Vera Signs With ONE FC, Debut Date TBA


(Let me guess…makeup shotgun? / Photo via
MMAJunkie)

A month after his UFC firing went public, Brandon Vera has found a new home. MMAFighting passed along word yesterday that the 36-year-old striker has been signed by ONE FC, and will make his promotional debut later this year against an opponent to be named later.

Known to most MMA fans as “that weird promotion in Singapore or whatever?”, ONE FC has made news in recent months by changing its rules to allow soccer-kicks and knees to the head of a grounded opponent during fights, and hiring Rich Franklin as Vice President of Crowd Participation. The promotion has also continued to stack its roster with internationally-known stars; ONE FC 19: Reign of Champions (August 29th, Dubai) will feature Shinya Aoki, Ben Askren, and Roger Huerta.

So, will Vera follow in Phil Baroni’s footsteps and soccer kick his way to victory, or will the unfamiliar rule-set cause problems for “The Truth”? Honestly, it kind of depends on who they throw at him first. Then again, kicking a dude in the head isn’t rocket science, I guess. We’ll keep you posted.

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And Now He’s Fired: Brandon Vera Axed by UFC (Again), Following 16-Fight Stint With Promotion


(A fan art tribute to a legendary broken nose, by FLYD.)

Though it’s not entirely clear when the axe came down, Fox Sports has confirmed that UFC heavyweight/light-heavyweight Brandon Vera was released from the promotion sometime after his TKO loss to Ben Rothwell last August. It was Vera’s second consecutive defeat, following a previous KO at the hands of Shogun Rua, and it dropped his overall UFC record to 8-7 with one no-contest.

Any post-mortem of Brandon Vera’s career has to focus on what a disappointment it turned out to be. (I’m not trying to be a dick, here; I bet Vera feels the same way.) This is a guy who went from hot-shot contender to hapless journeyman seemingly overnight. The Fox Sports article summarizes it well:

Vera burst upon the scene in Oct. 2005, defeating Fabiano Scherner via TKO in the first of four consecutive victories, a streak that emboldened him to infamously promise that he would hold two UFC title belts at the same time.

He never even fought for the title.

Vera was at one time slated to fight for the UFC heavyweight championship, but a contract dispute put his career on ice in the fall of 2006. By the time it was resolved, nearly a year had gone by, and Vera was never able to recapture his previous magic and reach the high bar he’d set for himself.

By late 2006, Vera had every right to carry a big ego. He had a flawless pro record of 8-0 with all wins by stoppage, and was fresh off a 69-second TKO of former champ Frank Mir, who was struggling to make a comeback at the time (and eventually succeeded). As it turned out, Mir was the last notable opponent that Vera managed to beat. And if you wanted to be brutally honest about it, you could argue that Mir is the only notable opponent that Vera has ever beaten.

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Turns Out Ben Rothwell Was Undergoing a Little *Too* Much Testosterone Replacement Prior to His Bout With Brandon Vera


(If not for his doctor’s advice, Rothwell would have fully completed his transformation into Wolverine that night. Photo via Getty.)

You guys remember how Ben Rothwell jumped on the TRT train prior to his bout with Brandon Vera at UFC 164? And how Vera claimed that “it wouldn’t help?” Well, it did. Unfortunately for “Big Ben,” it helped him a little *too* much, actually. MMAJunkie just passed along word that, although Rothwell was only given an “administrative warning” by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, he has been suspended by the UFC for 9 months following a positive test for elevated levels of testosterone at UFC 164.

Shockingly, Rothwell was shocked to learn the shocking news:

Following my victory at UFC 164 I was informed I tested for an elevated level of testosterone. This came as a shock because I had applied for and was granted a TRT exemption and was doing so under the supervision of a doctor. I was tested every week for eight weeks prior to the fight and was well under the acceptable level each time.

My God, does Lavar Johnson’s “doctor” not even realize how many fighters he is screwing over with his ignorance? HE’S TAKING AWAY MENS LIVELIHOODS DAMN IT!

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CagePotato Roundtable #26: What Is the Greatest Comeuppance in MMA History?


(Bro, you need a male nurse.)

After spending last week’s roundtable discussion paying tribute to the most foul people associated with our sport, this week we’ll be focusing on great comeuppances — cases when a fighter got too cocky and karma caught up with him mid-match. Some of our picks are knockouts, some are submissions, and all are extremely satisfying to relive. Read on for our picks, and please continue to send your ideas for future CagePotato Roundtable topics to tips@cagepotato.com.

Ben Goldstein


(Props: Esther Lin/MMAFighting.com)

It’s one of the most well-known (and feared) unwritten rules in baseball: You never jinx a no-no. When a pitcher has gone a few innings without giving up a hit, you shut the fuck up about it. Teammates aren’t supposed to acknowledge it in the dugout, broadcasters aren’t supposed to mention it on air. These days, you’re not even supposed to tweet about it. If you even so much as whisper the words “no hitter” into your sleeve from the bleachers, the baseball gods will smite you for your hubris and it’ll all come crashing down.

MMA offers all kinds of painful penalties for celebrating early, and you’d think that everyone would have learned the lesson by now. But every once in a while, some asshole comes along and claims that he’ll achieve some lofty feat way before he has any right to. Call it a jinx, call it karmic retribution, but those fighters tend to fall on their face, while the rest of us revel in their defeat. You shouldn’t have tempted fate, buddy. You should have stayed humble. You shouldn’t have jinxed the no-no.

If you’ve been following the UFC for a long time, you might remember a former lightweight champion by the name of Benson Henderson. (He was the guy who held the belt between Frankie Edgar and Anthony Pettis? Long, curly hair? He could do all things through Christ who strengthened him? Does any of that ring a bell?) Anyway, this Benson Henderson guy was known for edging out very close decision wins in title fights — the kind of fights that could have gone either way, but kept falling in his favor. He got a reputation as a point-fighter who never went in for the kill, who only took risks involving toothpicks.

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UFC 164 Aftermath: Milwaukee’s Best


(Photo by Ed Mulholland/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

By George Shunick

The year’s not over, but when it’s said and done, don’t be surprised to see UFC 164 stand atop as the crown jewel of the promotion’s endeavors in 2013. The main card delivered in spades, with four finishes – albeit one controversial one – and one fight of the night which somehow didn’t manage to win the actual Fight of the Night bonus. But the big story last night was the ascension of Anthony Pettis to the lightweight throne. There has not been a dominant champion in the most talented division in MMA since the downfall of BJ Penn at UFC 112. If last night was any indication, Anthony Pettis is going to the answer to the series of frustrating draws and questionable decisions that have plagued the top of the division in Penn’s absence.

In the fight itself, Benson Henderson’s strategy became immediately clear – clinch, clinch, clinch. The majority of the round saw Henderson use his strength to drive Pettis into the fence and keep him there while working short strikes to Pettis’ legs. Henderson also attempted a number of takedowns, all of which were stuffed. When the two finally separated for a period of time, it became evident just why Henderson was so eager to keep the fighting in close. Pettis, fighting out of orthodox stance as a means of opening up the body kicks that come when two fighters square off in opposite stances, proceeded to capitalize on that particular strategy, landing four kicks to the body which clearly discomforted Henderson. Pettis, perhaps a little too pleased with his work, then attempted a cartwheel kick, only to be taken down by Henderson. Working in Pettis’ open guard, Henderson planted his right arm on the mat. Pettis immediately grabbed an overhook and soon after went for the armbar.

Henderson defended well at first, but as Pettis rotated on his back, the pressure increased on Henderson’s elbow to the point where it popped and the champion verbally submitted. Pettis became the second man to submit a champion since BJ Penn did it to Matt Hughes in 2004, and he did it against a man who is exceptionally difficult to finish in under a round. Considering that it was previously believed that his standup was his main weapon, it should go without saying at this point that Pettis is not only one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world, he could possibly be the best. A fight with Jose Aldo would go a long way to determine that, but a fight with T.J. Grant wouldn’t hurt either. Now the bad news; Pettis claims his knee popped during the fight. Hopefully it’s minor, but it would be a shame to lose Pettis so soon after such an impressive performance. Meanwhile, once his elbow heals, Henderson will be back. He’s insanely tough, well-rounded, athletic, technical… he’s just a level or two below Anthony Pettis. Maybe everyone else is too.

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UFC 164 Results & Video Highlights: Pettis Wins Title, Barnett Stops Mir


(Anthony Pettis becomes the new UFC lightweight champion by submitting Benson Henderson in the first round at UFC 164 Saturday night | All videos via FoxSports Youtube)

Full UFC 164 Quick Results:

Anthony Pettis submits Benson Henderson with an arm bar from the bottom in the first round.

Josh Barnett TKO’s Frank Mir in the first round.

Chad Mendes wins with a third round TKO over Clay Guida.

Ben Rothwell beats Brandon Vera in the third via TKO.

Dustin Poirier defeats Erik Koch with a unanimous decision.

Gleison Tibau wins a split decision over Jamie Varner.

Tim Elliott beats Louis Gaudinot with a unanimous decision.

Hyun Gyu Lim defeats Pascal Krauss via first round TKO.

Chico Camus wins a unanimous decision over Kyung Ho Kang.

Soa Palelei defeats Nikita Krylov via TKO in the third round.

Al Iaquinta wins a unanimous decision over Ryan Couture.

Magnus Cedenblad defeats Jared Hamman via guillotine choke submission.

Video highlights of Barnett vs. Mir, Mendes vs. Guida and Poirier vs. Koch after the jump

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Non-Expert MMA Picks: UFC 164 Edition


(We had no idea what picture to use for this post, but this one seems to work nicely. Be sure to check out Meerkatsu’s shop for plenty of other awesome jiu-jitsu artwork.)

Are “the experts” really more knowledgeable than anyone else in terms of predicting who will win a fight? That’s debatable, to say the least. Today we’re bringing in Adam Touchet – a college football blogger and the most casual of casual MMA fans – to see how his predictions hold up against what will actually happen on Saturday night. Read on for his picks, follow him on Twitter, and check out more of his work at what is possibly the least pretentious college football blog on the Internet, BattleOfTheSun.com.

I’ve spent my tiny broadcasting and show-business career trying to prove that just because you’re on television with a microphone it doesn’t make you an expert. What makes a guy who doesn’t even play a sport an “expert” at it, and what makes the “predictions” of the broadcasters presenting a sporting event to the masses any more valid than its rabid fan base?

Spoiler Alert: Nothing.

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: ‘UFC 164: Henderson vs. Pettis II’ Edition


(The UFC 164 marketing strategy summed up in less than 30 seconds.)

By Dan “Get Off Me” George

This Saturday night, Zuffa brings us perhaps the most anticipated title rematch in lightweight history when Benson Henderson attempts to remove a stain from his soul against the man responsible for leaving said stain, new/interim #1 contender Anthony Pettis. The preliminary portion of the card may not boast many recognizable names (which is a nice way of saying it’s garbage-ass) but the PPV lineup is a veritable potpourri of grizzled veterans and surging prospects, with a little bit of something for everyone both new and old to MMA.

So come along as we head to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and highlight the undercard bout you stand the best chance of banking on as well as all of the main card bouts for UFC 164: Henderson vs Pettis II. All lines courtesy of BestFightOdds, per usual.

Undercard bout:

Soa Palelei (+175) vs. Nikita Krylov (-210)

The heavy-handed Australian comes in as the +180ish underdog against Ukrainian (is game to you?) submission specialist and -200 favorite Nikita Krylov. Palelei has a chance to payout early in this fight if he is able to use his striking effectively, but the 16 year age gap between the fighters may prove the difference if Krylov’s is able to sustain the early onslaught from Soa. With this in mind, Palelei has been submitted once in his career and 7 out of his last 8 wins (Well, 6 out of 8. Bob Sapp no longer counts.) have come in the first round. +180 for Palelei is an underdog worth taking.

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‘F*ck You Brian Stann’: Brandon Vera Not Impressed With the All-American’s UFC Commentary Debut


(Years of being a Marine have trained him to show no emotion. But on the inside, Brian Stann is sobbing into his Pillow Pet. / Photo via MMAWeekly)

Despite being one of the most likable human beings in the history of this ugly sport, former UFC fighter Brian Stann picked up a very high-profile hater over the weekend. Stann handled color-commentary duties for UFC 163, and his analysis of the Phil Davis vs. Lyoto Machida co-main event spurred Brandon Vera to fire some shots on Facebook:

@philmrwonderful super awesome job boss…!!!!! U are the man!!! Fuck you @brianstann learn how to be an unbiased commentator bitch. Don’t ?#?hate? cuz he beat Ur ass too!!!

Vera, of course, is a totally unbiased observer, who just happens to be a longtime training partner of Phil Davis. But hey, that’s the drawback of social media — any asshole with an Internet connection can tell you how to do your job.

As you can imagine, Brian Stann is too classy to respond to Vera’s angry insults, but Vera did make a retraction after he cooled off a bit:

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Booking Alert: Brandon Vera Returning to Heavyweight, Will Face Ben Rothwell at UFC 164


(Look on the bright side — things can’t get much worse for him, right?)

Though we know him best these days as a light-heavyweight can-crusher with only a single victory to his credit in the last three years, Brandon Vera started his career as a devastating force at heavyweight, racking up an 8-0 record including four nasty stoppages in the UFC. But after back-to-back losses to Tim Sylvia and Fabricio Werdum, Vera decided to cut some weight and drop to the 205-pound division in 2008. It hasn’t exactly gone well. For every win over low-level talent like Reese Andy, Mike Patt, and Eliot Marshall, he’s eaten losses against superstars like Jon Jones, Randy Couture, and (most recentlyMauricio Rua.

Now, it looks like Brandon Vera is looking to bring back his old self. MMAJunkie reports that Vera is heading back to heavyweight for a meeting with Ben Rothwell at UFC 164, August 31st at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee. Rothwell has compiled a 2-3 record during his time in the Octagon, and last competed in January when he was choked out by Gabriel Gonzaga. Though neither fighter is riding a long losing streak, their lack of consistent success in the UFC makes this one a must-win fight for both men. Can “The Truth” re-energize his career at his original weight class, or will Rothwell be stealin’ that soul?

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