Brandon Vera (16-8) announced at ONE Championship: Fire and Fury that his next title defence will take place in Manila, on the 29th of May. Although we now know when Vera will return, his opponent is still yet to be confirmed by ONE Championship.
This has left fans to both discuss who deserves the next shot at the heavyweight gold and speculate about who will be given the opportunity.
I believe that Arjan Bhullar (10-1) should be next in line for Vera’s title.
Brandon Vera’s Career in ONE Championship
Vera joined ONE Championship in 2014 after leaving the UFC in 2013. He has a record of 4-1 in ONE Championship and is undefeated at heavyweight. All four of his wins have come via first-round TKOs against Igor Subora (6-3), Paul Cheng (5-3), Hideki Sekine (7-3), and Mauro Cerilli (13-4).
His two most recent wins have been heavyweight title defences, against Sekine and Cerilli. Vera’s only loss in ONE Championship came when he moved down in weight to challenge for the light-heavyweight title.
Unfortunately for Vera, his foray down to light-heavyweight was unsuccessful. As he was stopped in the second round by current two-weight world champion Aung La Nsang (26-10).
Vera will be hoping to return to winning ways and remain undefeated in the heavyweight division. I would not be surprised if we see Vera return with a vengeance and claim another vicious knockout in Manila.
Bhullar’s ONE Championship Debut
Bhullar was signed to the ONE Championship roster in late 2019 and debuting at ONE Championship: Century Part 2. That came after leaving the UFC earlier in the year with an impressive record of 3-1 for the company.
Bhullar impressed in his debut at ONE Championship: Century Part 2, claiming a unanimous decision victory over former title challenger, Cerilli.
Bhullar, a skilled wrestler, could prove to be a dangerous opponent for Vera. He will look to use his grappling to neutralize Vera’s knockout power. If Bhullar does successfully manage to implement his gameplan, do not be surprised if he once again walks away with a decision victory.
Vera’s Future After His Next Fight
MMA fans will be hoping that Vera’s next title defence will go down in history as another thriller in Manila.
If Vera does emerge victorious, don’t be surprised to see him once again matched up against Nsang. The difference from the first meeting between the two is that this time, Vera’s heavyweight title will be on the line. This would give Nsang the opportunity to become a three-division world champion.
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