Mixed martial arts (MMA) star Brandon Vera can understand and speak Filipino well, but he is an American citizen. Born in Norfolk, Virginia 37 years ago, his father is a Filipino and his biological mother is an Italian-American. But he was raised by his dad and Filipina step mother as a real Filipino in the US.
Pinoy blood surely runs through his veins. That is why it is not surprising that he is naturally fond of the country, especially Quezon province, where his family came from. His citizenship is also a hurdle for him to consider putting up any business here. But Vera has already filed for dual citizenship so he can establish and fully own an enterprise in the country in the future.
During a press conference in September, Vera revealed that he is considering putting up a gym locally someday, or after his big fight on December 5. But during a one-on-one interview with Entrepreneur.com.ph, the MMA champ clarified that it is actually a training camp he dreams to put up here.
“Opening a gym isn’t really exciting to me. Of course, I would have it if the opportunity comes, but I prefer to bring the alliance training here. I want to introduce what MMA is really like,” he explained.
MMA training camp
What Vera has in mind is an MMA training camp he intends to put up someday in Quezon province. It would be a site where trainees would actually live, eat, sleep, and train for about two weeks to four weeks within the camp.
“It would be only for advanced people who want to fight or for those who are willing to prove that they can live the disciplined lifestyle,” he said. “When someone comes to that camp, I want him to already know the basics, whether he’s good or bad at it. That way, I can build from there.”
Vera is also confident that an MMA training camp would benefit Pinoy MMA fighters exponentially. The camp would aim to show local MMA fighters what it is really like to be one and what professional fighters are actually doing every day.
Having all resources
To this, he added that he has nothing to worry about starting up such a camp. “I have the background and resources, I have people I can pool, I have trainors, and I can invite world champions to help me do this.”
He further disclosed, “I am also open to having business partners. I am open to an idea of collaborating with a TV network that would be interested in possibly putting a reality show featuring trainees in the camp.”
However, for Vera, establishing such a training camp would mean slowing down on his career as an MMA fighter. He thinks that he should put most of his time and effort into the venture, when he starts it. Thus, although he is determined to pursue it, he still does not see this goal coming soon. “I’m still fighting. I’m still enjoying life. If I pursue that, I would probably slow down.”
As of press time, Vera is preparing for a major fight to be held here in Manila. His promoter, ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC) organizes ‘ONE FC: Warrior’s Way,’ which would pit him against Ukraine’s Igor Subora. The fight would be held on December 5 (Friday) at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Editor's note: Vera won the match beating his opponent through a knockout.