When the morning of November 14th rolls around, Brandon Vera will wake up knowing that he has the biggest opportunity of his life laid out right in front of him for the taking.
A fighter that has been somewhat inconsistent in his performances to date, but who also seems to be on the upswing, will have a chance that every young fighter (semi-young in this case) relishes, to defeat a legend in the sport. Vera will be taking on Randy Couture in the main event at UFC 105, and he knows this is a fight that he couldn’t pass up. “The Truth” recently spoke with Ariel Helwani of MMA Fanhouse about this pivotal moment in his career.
When asked what he first thought about the fight when it was offered to him, Vera admitted he wasn’t ready to fight again so soon [Vera most recently fought at UFC 102, as did Couture], but once he found out who he was slated to face, he couldn’t resist. “I have to fight Randy, I couldn’t say no,” Vera said.
“They [his management and the UFC] didn’t tell me it was Randy at first. I didn’t want to fight so soon. But Randy is the man, I have to fight him. You have to see what you’re made of.
“I’ve been telling everybody, it’s like your dream come true and your nightmare come true.”
Vera was later asked if he had given any thought to possibly being the guy to end Couture’s long and storied run in the fight game, but Vera didn’t seem to think he will have anything to do with that, one way or another.
“I don’t think Randy is done fighting. I think Randy will be fighting until he’s 52. What ever the outcome of our fight is, I don’t think he’s done fighting and I don’t think the UFC is done with him. He still looks hungry and still looks good.”
Asked if he thought Randy was the same fighter he was five or six years ago, Vera appeared to be convinced that he is.
“I think he’s still the same guy. Randy’s biggest weakness has always been when he’s on his back with big guys on top of him, and that’s what happened with Nogueria [Couture lost a unanimous decision to Minotauro Nogueria at UFC 102]. It’s hard to judge from that fight. Couture was still pushing the action and going at him.
“I was super impressed with his performance. You can’t ever count out a fighter who won’t break mentally or physically. That is Randy Couture.”
Speaking on the recent resurrection in his career, Vera said it has been mostly due to a re-focus and improved devotion to the sport.
“I feel a lot different, more so mentally. It took the mental part to get my physical part right. I realized there are certain things I have to do to be successful. This isn’t a job or a sport to me. This is my life. This is what defines me as a man.”
Finally, Vera was asked whether or not becoming both the UFC light heavyweight champion and heavyweight champion at the same time was still on his mind.
“It is still a goal. I think I can do it. Nobody has ever done it, but why not reach for that goal. I’m reaching for the stars.”
Brandon Vera’s quest to reach that lofty goal begins with his fight against Randy Couture in the main event at UFC 105 on November 14th, free on Spike TV. You can watch the full interview with Vera below: