UFC 125: Make or Break for Brandon Vera Against Thiago Silva
“I always refer to the sport of MMA as a she. She's evil, man. You do one thing wrong, and your career could be over.” That is a quote from Brandon “The Truth” Vera.
The consequences of a loss in UFC 125: Resolution this New Year's Day must weigh heavier on Brandon Vera's shoulders than on his opponent Thiago Silva's.
There was a time when the Filipino-American Vera was hyped as a new UFC phenom in the same breath as Jon “Bones” Jones today. Fresh off winning the WEC heavyweight championship in January 2005, The Truth leapt to the UFC and conquered with a string of four early finishes of Fabiano Scherner, Justin Eilers, Assuerio Silva and a brutal first round knockout of Frank Mir.
But that's about a half-decade ago.
Since then, the spectacular run was followed by losses, including one by unanimous decision to Tim Sylvia and another by a controversial first round stoppage to Fabricio Werdum. (Referee Dan Miragliotta stopped the fight when Werdum pummeled Vera with some ground and pound from the mount. Vera claimed he was still defending effectively when the fight was halted.)
This was followed by a unanimous decision win over Reese Andy, a narrow split decision loss to Keith Jardine, an impressive second round TKO of Mike Platt and a unanimous decision win over Krzysztof Soszynski at UFC 102.
Then the UFC pitched a Randy Couture curveball at UFC 105 (a controversial unanimous decision win for The Natural) followed by a lethal Jon “Bones” Jones fastball on UFC LIVE in March 2010. Vera failed at both consecutive at-bats.
This time around, the MMA Major League pitcher is poised to throw a dangerously unpredictable Thiago Silva at home plate.
The “one thing wrong,” at least for Vera's UFC career, could be one more loss, which would have an immediate result on the attendance to Justin Hazelett & Co.'s new member orientation at the dugout.
Strike three for Vera on the 1st of January could very well mean “Hello, Strikeforce” for the rest of the year at best.
Vera's ace vs.Silva.
It's fairly arguable on who between them is the better striker, but with Silva's black belt in Brazilian Jujitsu, Vera's clearest advantage (on paper) in this fight is his wrestling.
While not many seem to know that Vera placed second in Team USA's wrestling tryout for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, it is certain that all hardcore UFC fans witnessed him takedown and mount Randy Couture.