Brandon Vera and Mauro Cerilli face off in Manila
ONE: ‘Conquest of Champions’ gets underway in exactly seven days time and the headliners conducted an open workout and photo shoot in Manila this afternoon. Heavyweights Brandon Vera and Mauro Cerilli came face to face for the first time with the former putting his heavyweight title on the line next week.
Co-headliners Amir Khan and Eduard Folayang also got a chance to size each other up although, as promotional veterans, this is unlikely to be their first encounter. Both men meet at the MOA Arena next Friday with the vacant lightweight title on the line.
While Khan and Folayang both feature regularly on ONE Championship cards Vera’s appearances have been few and far between. He will be making only the second defence of the heavyweight title he won in 2015 and fighting for the first time in nearly two years.
The Fil-American says he has been keeping in shape and promises to put on a performance for the Filipino fans,
“Thank you everyone for coming out here, it is an honor to be your champion, Philippines. I’ve been away for a while, almost two years, but don’t think for a second that I haven’t been training and keeping sharp. I’m stronger, faster, smarter, and better now than ever before. My team has made sure that I will be at my best by the time I step back into the ONE Cage. This is home for me. I really missed this and I am excited to perform in front of you all next Friday night. The belt is going to stay in the Philippines,” Vera said.
Cerilli is six years his junior and fighting for ONE Championship for the first time. The Italian is the reigning Cage Warriors heavyweight champion and clearly believes Vera is past his prime,
“I am very honored to be here and to challenge your champion. Joining ONE Championship, I know the competition is fierce and I will be faced with the best in the world. Brandon (Vera) is a great champion, but he’s lost his edge. I am here to claim the ONE Heavyweight World Championship. When I step into the cage on 23 November, I will be in the best shape of my career and I’m looking to score the upset. Thank you for having me, Manila. It is an honor to be here,” he said.
Next up for the promotion is ONE: ‘Warrior’s Dream’ which is set for Stadium Istora in Jakarta tomorrow night.