ONE heavyweight champion Brandon Vera is excited to be challenging Myanmar's superstar and 2-division champion Aung La N Sang next month in Tokyo, Japan.
Vera wanted to be a 2-division champion himself, which is why he decided to challenge Aung La for his light heavyweight belt.
Aung La successfully defended his title against Ken Hasegawa at ONE: A New Era last March. Vera congratulated him on his win before humbly and respectfully challenging “The Burmese Python” for the light heavyweight title.
“I wasn’t very comfortable doing that inside the cage. It was Aung La N Sang's time to shine, but I’ve been wanting to become a double titleholder – a champ-champ – and I’ve always wanted to challenge for the ONE Light Heavyweight World Title,” said Vera.
“I just happened to be in Tokyo, the next event I wanted to compete on is in Tokyo, and I think it would be a beautiful main event or co-main event.”
The Filipino-American heavyweight is looking forward to his match with Aung La in October, adding that he believes the Myanmarese can take him past the first round.
With a professional record of 25-10-1, Myanmar’s hero is currently enjoying a 6-bout winning streak through five knockouts and a submission.
Vera respects Aung La’s power, skill and heart, and has studied and analyzed his fighting style.
“This is really hard to break down because I can’t really pick apart Aung La’s game. We’re almost related. His coach came from my coach. We train the same, we know the same hardships, we’ve been through that grind,” Vera said.
“His new coach [Henri Hooft] was training with my former head kickboxing coach Rob Kaman – they’ve been sparring with each other since they were 17 – so our style is almost the same.”
A win means Vera will hold both the light heavyweight and heavyweight championship titles. Having fought some of the biggest names in martial arts, he is confident that he has the upper hand in the upcoming bout.
“I think the biggest difference between us is our experience,” he said.
“During his matches, I look for those little holes he still has because of his lack of experience. I’m not going to outpace Aung La, I’m not going to outwork Aung La. I’m not going to be a bully because that’s impossible. He’s been through the same system.”
“I have to find holes in Aung La’s game and exploit them while he’s doing the same thing to me. We come from the same school, the same train of thought, so this is why I’m super excited for this match,” he added.
For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.