“I’m Sorry, My Countrymen” – MMA Legend Brandon Vera Makes an Emotional Speech as He Hangs Gloves After a Two-Decade-Long Career

Brandon “The Truth” Vera laced up the 4oz gloves for the last time inside the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines, this past Saturday, December 3. And though the fight didn’t pan out how he would’ve wanted, the man who once reigned as the ONE Heavyweight World Champion had already done enough to leave an everlasting impression on combat sports.

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The Filipino star unwillingly stripped off his gloves after dropping a loss to Iranian behemoth Amir Aliakbari at ONE 164: Pacio vs. Brooks, and tears soon began to fill his eyes.

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Brandon Vera is still young at heart, but his body is giving up

In typical fashion, the ever-humble athlete bowed to the crowd and thanked them for all their support over his two-decade-long career.

“I’m sorry, my countrymen,” Vera said during his post-fight interview. “To every Filipino around the world, I’ve been doing this for so long”. It was clear to see that Vera’s heart was still set on fighting, but his body simply couldn’t continue anymore. And an injury he picked up in the main card affair signaled that very fact.

“But tonight, you just witnessed ‘The Truth’s’ very last fight in MMA. I wish I could have had another win. But I broke my damn hand again. Son of ab****,” Vera said.

To some, he was just an MMA fighter. But to the majority of the audience who packed the venue to witness ONE’s final show of the year, Vera was an inspiration. They would have loved to see him bow out of the Circle with heavyweight gold in his arms again. But instead, as he bid farewell, he held his daughter – a far more prized possession.

After sharing the stage with elite competitors such as Tim Sylvia, Frank Mir, Randy Couture, and Ben Rothwell, Vera joined ONE Championship in 2014.

On his debut, the Alliance Training Center founder made quick work of Ukrainian powerhouse Igor Subora, and he claimed the inaugural ONE Heavyweight World Title by knocking out Paul Cheng in his second outing, which happened to go down in the same venue where he announced his retirement last week.

Brandon Vera accepted his new livelihood, but his legacy will live on

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A couple more victories followed before a string of losses eventually forced Vera to think about her options.“The Truth” now wants to focus on being more than just an MMA fighter, and he has already secured a long-term acting deal that will allow him to spend more time with his family.

His career took him to heights not many athletes have achieved in the all-encompassing sport, and Vera wanted to leave a final message of inspiration to people from all walks of life.

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“I wish you nothing but joy, and I wish you success in what you do. Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do what you love,” the heavyweight athlete offered. “Big shout to all of you, make sure you do, you and help the world at the same time.”

We wish you nothing but happiness in your retirement, Kuya.

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