Mixed martial arts star Brandon “The Truth” Vera has announced his retirement from the sport after a 20-year career.
The Filipino American fighter, 45, made the announcement during the post-fight interview following his loss to Amir Aliakbar on Saturday.
Held in the Philippines, the ONE 164 heavyweight match ended in the first round, with Aliakbar landing a technical knockout against Vera.
Addressing the cheering crowd in Filipino, Vera said, “Pasensya na. Kababayan, ang tagal ko nang ginagawa ‘to mga 20 plus years na (I’m sorry. To my fellow Filipinos, I’ve been doing this for a long time. It’s been 20 plus years).
“Eto ngayon (and now) you just witnessed The Truth’s very last fight in MMA. I wish I could’ve come out with a win,” the fighter added. “Thank you for all the love.”
Vera ended his phenomenal professional MMA career with a record of 16 wins against 10 losses.
During his stint in the UFC, from 2005 to 2013, he engaged in memorable fights against top fighters such as Jon Jones and Randy Couture, among others. He then signed with ONE Championship, where he became the inaugural heavyweight champion in 2014.
Vera successfully defended his title twice, first in 2016 with a first-round TKO against Hideki Sekine and second in 2018 with a first-round KO against Cage Warriors Heavyweight Champion Mauro Cerilli. In 2019, Vera attempted to become a double champion but lost to then-light heavyweight champ Aung La N Sang. He then lost his title to Arjan Bhullar via stoppage in 2021.
The former ONE Championship heavyweight champion has been working to transition to an acting career in the last few years. Viewers first got a glimpse of his acting chops in films such as the acclaimed action-thriller “BuyBust” and the zombie flick “Day Zero.” In Oct., Vera’s post-apocalyptic action flick won was named best feature film at the Obscura Filmfest 2022.
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“He’s an inspiration for me to follow,” Vera shared. “He led the path of coming from the sports entertainment world straight into entertainment. He cut his teeth, he did cameos, he did extra roles, he did drivers. He was a driver in some movies. He did the extra parts, he cut hard. He worked at it, he perfected his craft, and he got into the industry.”
“I’m trying to do the same. I was the champ, I wanna become the champ again, and then I wanna roll right into the movies. I absolutely enjoy doing films. It’s just like our mixed martial arts in the ways that it takes so much discipline, it takes so much dedication, so much time, and my favorite part about it is it takes reps. You have to do it again and again, then again and again,” he added.
Featured Image via ONE Championship