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Brandon Vera: I Won’t Underestimate Jon Jones Again

Returning UFC light heavyweight Brandon Vera has been around the game for awhile now, and he’s watched the landscape of his current home division at 205lbs. change considerably. Despite the parity that he sees now at the top of the weight class between a host of tough fighters, The Truth recently told FightLine that he’s hoping to get back into the thick of things by taking out Eliot Marshall in impressive fashion this weekend at UFC 137.

“It’s pretty amazing, the whole 205lbs. division is tough,” Vera said. “Styles make matches and there are a lot of different styles in our weight class. I can’t wait to get back in the mix, man. Get back on that ladder and get back up to the title.”

Though he owes the most decisive defeat of his career to current champion Jon Jones, Vera pegs him as one of the most exciting fighters in the division to watch and says that he desires another crack at the dynamic young prodigy. Having had more than a year to reflect on that loss to Jones and having seen the 24-year-old run through a few more competitors since, Vera thinks he knows now what it takes to dethrone the fearsome wunderkind.

“To get rid of him, man? You have to tenacious like him,” asserted Vera. “He’s young and hungry and you have to be even more hungry than him. You have to be willing to sacrifice your body to get with him and understand that Jon Jones is a smart fighter, he’s not a banger. He’ll try to exploit the weak areas you have. The first time I fought him, I didn’t respect him at all and that was a super huge mistake. I think a lot of people that fight him the first time end up making that mistake, not respecting his skillset and I for sure won’t do that again.”

Vera takes the first step on his road back to the top tomorrow night, October 29, when he meets Eliot Marshall on the preliminary card of UFC 137: Penn vs. Diaz at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Don’t forget to check back tomorrow night for FightLine’s live, ongoing coverage of the event.