Brandon Vera Sends Message to Amir Aliakbari: Worry About That Person Standing In Front of You

Published 03/16/2021, 1:11 AM EDT


ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera is deep in preparation for his next world title defense after over two years since his first-round knockout victory over Mauro Cerilli to retain the belt.

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The 43-year-old Filipino-American mixed martial arts veteran, however, had enough time to spare to catch ONE Championship’s latest blockbuster offering last Friday night, ONE: FISTS OF FURY II.

It was an action-packed evening filled with exciting finishes, including a pair of heavyweight contests that had Vera watching closely.

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Competing in the main event was Greco-Roman Wrestling World Champion Amir Aliakbari, who suffered a debilitating knockout loss at the hands of South Korean KO artist “Mighty Warrior” Kang Ji Won.

Aliakbari has vehemently called out the champion Vera since he signed with ONE in 2020.

Vera has since shared his reaction to Aliakbari’s recent setback, offering a few words of advice to the Iranian star.

“I wanted to give a shout out to all the heavyweights on the card, everyone on the card actually, did a great job. I know me and Amir have got this little thing going back and forth. I hope you rest well, speedy recovery, get ready for the next one,” said Vera.

“Like I’ve been telling everybody all along man, it’s different here in Asia, it’s different in ONE Championship. Don’t worry about everyone. You can worry about that person standing right in front of you, especially when they close that door on our Circle.”

Vera is getting his mind and body prepared for his highly-anticipated return to the ONE Circle. The reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion is set to face former UFC star Arjan Singh Bhullar in his next title defense, and the bout is expected to be made official in the coming weeks.

“The Truth” is currently in Florida, training at Sanford MMA under renowned striking coach Henri Hooft, alongside former opponent ONE Light Heavyweight World Champion “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang, and former two-division ONE World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen, among others.

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Aung La turned Vera back in 2019, when the latter challenged for the light heavyweight title.

As for Aliakbari, the recent loss has certainly set him back in the heavyweight pecking order. However, the Iranian does have a chance at immediate redemption, if he can score a much-needed victory over undefeated Russian star Anatoly “Spartak” Malykhin at the upcoming “ONE on TNT” event series this April.

Meanwhile, ONE Championship returns with ONE: FISTS OF FURY III, the third and final installment in the “Fists of Fury” event series. 

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The headline bout features a showdown between ONE Lightweight Kickboxing World Champion Regian Eersel and hard-hitting #2-ranked contender Mustapha Haida, while ONE Atomweight Kickboxing World Champion Janet “JT” Todd begins her quest for a second belt by taking on the #4-ranked Alma Juniku in Muay Thai in the co-main event.

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Varun Khanna

1304 articles

Starting off as a tennis author in 2018, Varun Khanna has gone on to contribute to EssentiallySports in various capacities. After setting up interviews with the likes of Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou, Alizé Cornet, and Noah Rubin, Varun is now part of all major ATP and WTA press conferences and has gone on to pen more than 1300 articles for EssentiallySports. He now heads the tennis and NBA division of the organization.

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