Brandon Vera announced his retirement immediately after the TKO loss to Amir Aliakbari at ONE 164 this afternoon. The 45 year old left his gloves inside the cage and gave an emotional post fight speech.
He addressed the crowd in a mixture of Tagalog and English. Vera grew up in the US but is of Filipino heritage and has become a big star in the Philippines where he has also featured in some successful movies.
Vera confirmed he would continue pursuing his acting ambitions and announced he had agreed on a ‘ten movie deal’. But, speaking in English, the former ONE Championship heavyweight king declared that his MMA career was over,
“You’ve just witness The Truth’s very last fight in MMA. I wish I could have gone out in a win, I broke my hand again. I love you all, thank you for everything you have given me.”
Amir Aliakbari 🇮🇷 picks up the biggest win of his career with a TKO finish over former ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera!#ONE164
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Vera had made a good start, brushing off Aliakbari’s first takedown attempts and testing the Iranian’s defence with some straight punches and kicks. He looked to be controlling the action with his opponent looking very hesitant in the striking exchanges.
Aliakbari has been knocked out in the opening round in two of his previous three ONE Championship fights. But one takedown was all it took for the Iranian who wasted no time once he had the UFC veteran on his back.
Having successfully completed a double leg takedown Aliakbari immediately went to work with elbows. Vera turtled up and eventually gave up his back with referee Herb Dean stepping in to save the defenceless 45 year old.
Vera retires with a record of 16-10-0-1. His list of previous opponents includes Mauricio Rua, Jon Jones, Randy Couture, Fabricio Werdum and Tim Sylvia and he can legitimately claim to have been in with the best light heavyweights and heavyweights of his generation.
Vera’s future seems to lie with the movie industry. But Aliakbari has his career back on track after successive ONE Championship wins and wasted no time in calling out reigning heavyweight king Arjan Bhullar.