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‘THE TRUTH’ WANTS TO CALL GUAM HOME

Pro MMA fighter Brandon “the Truth” Vera was invited by Purebred Jiu Jitsu as a guest instructor Thursday night at their gym in Dededo. Vera, who is on Guam for two weeks, wanted to give back to the community and worked with Fokai Industries executive Roman Dela Cruz and Purebred Guam’s head instructor Stephen Roberto to host an open mat class.

By Jay Leon Guerrero

Pro MMA fighter Brandon “the Truth” Vera was invited by Purebred Jiu Jitsu as a guest instructor Thursday night at their gym in Dededo. Vera, who is on Guam for two weeks, wanted to give back to the community and worked with Fokai Industries executive Roman Dela Cruz and Purebred Guam’s head instructor Stephen Roberto to host an open mat class.

Instead of charging fee, Vera asked the students to bring canned goods for the victims of Typhoon Masak that recently devastated the islands of Chuuk and Yap.

“Roman Dela Cruz has been a long time friend of Brandon and he has been meaning to visit Guam but because of his busy schedule he was not able to stop by the island,” said Roberto. “He has enjoyed his stay so much that he decided to give back. It was his idea to do a canned food drive and the collection will go towards the AYUDA Foundation to help typhoon victims living in Chuuk,” said Roberto.

Vera is a popular MMA fighter and former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight contender with 16 fights in the octagon. Vera, who is a Filipino-American, represents San Diego’s MMA Alliance and has been in the cage against the likes of champions Jon Jones, Randy Couture, Frank Mir, Fabricio Werdum, and Tim Sylvia. Prior to fighting in the UFC, Vera was WEC organizations heavyweight champion.

“Now that he fights for (Singapore-based MMA organization) ONEFC, he has been traveling back and forth from San Diego and the Philippines and he made it a point to stop by Guam for a couple of weeks,” said Roberto.

Brandon Vera sharing lessons with Guam's own during his training seminar. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Brandon Vera sharing lessons with Guam’s own during his training seminar. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

I love Guam

“I’ve been to a lot of places around the world, and Guam really feels like home,” said Vera. “Philippines is home, but Guam is where I want to be. It’s the perfect place for me, I’ve been looking for this kind of place my whole life and I didn’t know it till I got here.”

“The Truth” has been in Guam for about a week and met up with friends and has been to the gyms on island.He said that MMA on Guam is still five years behind the likes of the USA and Brazil.

“Yeah I’d say Guam is behind about five years, BUT, everyone here has heart and I’d say they are 10 years ahead of the world in that (category). You can’t teach heart, you can’t learn heart; yet everyone from here (Guam and the Pacific Islands) seems to be born with it,” Vera said.

The room was filled with eager students with all ranges of age and size. Youth students absorbed knowledge, several female grapplers showcased new techniques, and even local UFC fighter Jon Delos Reyes (JDR) participated Thursday evening.

“He was giving me some good tips and wished me luck for my upcoming fight. He told everyone to be a smart fighter and not just a tough fighter,” said Delos Reyes.

JDR applauded Vera’s efforts and intends to follow Vera’s footsteps and give back to the community through martial arts. JDR will fight next month in a stacked UFC Manila card with Guam’s other local MMA star Jon “Supersaiyan” Tuck.

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

What’s Next?

According to Vera, his next fight will be on a heavyweight card for ONEFC. He said he will travel back to the Philippines after Guam where he will know when and where he will fight next.

“I’ll know right when I get back to the Philippines to see what they got lined up next for me,” Roberto said that he may be next to fight for the vacated heavyweight championship belt.

“He goes back to the Philippines where they (ONEFC) will make an announcement of his next fight and more than likely it will probably be for that vacated ONEFC belt,” said Roberto.

“I want to thank everyone who helped me train from the beginning till now, from my ups to my downs, THANK YOU. I also want to thank the whole Fokai Crew and Purebred especially Rome, Ton, coach Roberto, and Mike Fowler. I also want to thank all the all my boys back home at MMA Alliance and Bad Boy.”

PHOTO GALLERY:

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Brandon Vera sharing lessons with Guam's own during his training seminar. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

Brandon Vera sharing lessons with Guam’s own during his training seminar. (photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

(photo by Richard Camacho IV)

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