The moment of truth for Vera: “I couldn’t care less about his takedowns”

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Brandon Vera against Couture, at UFC 105. Photo: Josh Hedges.

It’s literally the moment of truth for Brandon “The Truth” Vera, one of the UFC’s biggest names, having defeated big-name opponents in more than one division. Vera, an MMA fighter who likes practicing Jiu-Jitsu in the gi, holds wins over the likes of Frank Mir, Reese Andy and Assuerio Silva, not to mention a questionable loss to Randy Couture last November.

This Sunday, Brandon will face the fastest-rising star of the UFC, Jon Jones, and a win would certainly qualify the Virginia native for an eventual light heavyweight title challenge. GRACIEMAG.com had an exclusive chat with the star of UFC Live.

What is going through your head before facing Jon Jones?

He’s a great fighter for sure, he has many qualities and I like his standup game, but I couldn’t care less about his takedowns. I hope he uses his boxing this fight; I’d love to throw down with him. I want to see if he can take the pressure.

How important is Jiu-Jitsu in your game?

Jiu-Jitsu is fundamental in my game. If your Jiu-Jitsu’s no good, you’ll spend the whole time worrying about getting taken down… People talk a lot about my standup game, but they might not realize that my performance on my feet is good because I’m not worried about the guy taking me down. I’m really happy and satisfied with my Jiu-Jitsu; it’s a really important weapon and makes me more confident and calm should the fight hit the ground.

In your last fight, the judges handed the win to Randy Couture. Are there any hard feelings about the UFC’s refereeing or rules?

After this result I did a lot of thinking about fights like Lyoto Machida vs Mauricio Shogun, and several other fights where the results were arguable because of the judges’ decisions. I won’t say all the judges are bad, but I can say most of them are weak. About 80% are useless. In my opinion, the (Nevada) Athletic Commission should bring in retired fighters to judge MMA. To me retired fighters would be the best judges. We’re in a difficult situation; there are guys out there who don’t understand MMA at all, don’t have a clue what’s going on. He’ll see a fighter sink a triangle and think, “What the hell is that?!?” So, someone like that shouldn’t be judging MMA, nor be involved in our sport.

You’ve been fighting among the elite in the UFC for a long time. Should you beat Jon Jones, will you want a shot at the title?

If I beat Jon Jones I’ll do just that; I’ll ask the UFC, “Please, can I fight for the belt now?”

UFC on Versus 1: Vera vs. Jones
Sunday, March 21 2010

Broomfield, Colorado

Jon Jones vs Brandon Vera
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Paul Buentello vs Cheick Kongo

James Irvin vs Alessio Sakara

Preliminary card

Shannon Gugerty vs Clay Guida
Eliot Marshall vs Vladimir Matyushenko

Darren Elkins vs Duane “Bang” Ludwig

John Howard vs Daniel Roberts
Chase Gormley vs Brendan Schaub
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