by: Jack Bratcher
When Brandon Vera entered the UFC he stated that he wanted to first win the Heavyweight Title and then move down in weight and take the Light Heavyweight Title as well, being the only person to hold both belts at the same time. After back to back defeats at heavyweight he moved down to light heavyweight and now it seems even the lighter half of his dream is fading further away. Vera gave up a split decision loss to Keith Jardine Saturday night, October 18, in Birmingham, England.
Dana White, President of the UFC, was far from impressed with Vera’s performance at UFC 89. Too many boos from the crowd during your fight does not seem to sit well Mr. White and the Jardine / Vera fight garnered more than a couple.
It was widely known that this fight was a “must win” situation for both fighters to stay in the good graces of the UFC. Having said that, even if you do lose a fight here and there or maybe even a couple in a row, there is saving grace in the UFC. If you let it all hang out and really lay it all on the line during your fight, that will go a long way with the UFC even if you don’t get the win. But if you just fight not to lose and still don’t win, your days are numbered.
Vera did not go in there and fight like his life depended on it and Mr. White definitely took notice of this. White was unimpressed with the bout and called out Vera on his poor performance, “I’m not seeing what I expected from Brandon Vera. It’s like he’s lost something.”
“He doesn’t have that killer instinct since he took that year off. He doesn’t go after people. He used to be so cocky. He wanted to fight everybody.”
Rather than go on The Ultimate Fighter and take the path that has helped make stars out of many of the UFC’s top guys, Brandon Vera had plans of his own. In fact, he had some very big plans and big talk.
“We tried to get him on one of the seasons of The Ultimate Fighter and he turned that down and said he wanted to fight Chuck Liddell and that he would knock him out. I hear that seven days a week so I told him to go on TUF and we’d find out how good he was.”
“He was good. He used to walk through heavyweights earlier in his career.
But he took a year off and we had all the issues with his contract and he hasn’t been the same since.
I don’t know what’s wrong with him.”
White went on to talk about how well Sam Stout and Paul Taylor looked at UFC 89 even though they did not get the win. Stout looked great according to the UFC President, “He came out and fought hard and you always know what to expect from him.” White also praised Taylor for pushing the action the whole fight and trying to win even up until the final seconds. That kind of aggressive style goes a very long way with Dana White and his decision whether or not your career will continue in the UFC.