Did you know? Brandon Vera is a huge toy collector

ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon "The Truth" Vera, one would assume, is all about bad-assery.  The towering Fil-American is covered in tattoos and makes a living kicking ass, both in real life inside the ONE Championship circle and on the silver screen.  But while "The Truth" is indeed a bona-fide tough guy, there might be one thing that not a lot of people don't know about him, and it's that he's a massive toy collector, specifically Funko Pop figurines. You know, those cute, little figures with the big heads and big round black circles for eyes?  Yeah, Vera loves those and has collected tons of them over the years.          View this post on Instagram                   I almost lost it when I received this 1-off #fanart from my cousin Digo and @jadeaparta They killed it on the Tattoo Details ???????????????????????????? . Thank you Thank you!!!!!!!!!! Maraming Salamat???????????????????????????????????? . Hope to have an official @onechampionship @originalfunko one day ???????????????????????????????????????? . #nerd #nerdlife #fanart A post shared by Brandon Vera (@brandonthetruthvera) on Mar 13, 2019 at 7:39pm PDT           View this post on Instagram                   Hunting at #toycon2018 for my @funko_popvinyl was a success ???????????????????? See y’all again Bukas!!!!!! . . #smxconventioncenter #nerds #nerdsoftheworldunite #OneChampionship #Heavyweight #World #Champion #Verafied #VirtualPlaygroundPH A post shared by Brandon Vera (@brandonthetruthvera) on Jun 9, 2018 at 5:48am PDT “I was at a Comic-Con. It was back when the parking lot was so empty because no one even went to those things,” Vera told ONE Championship's John Wolcott. “I was inside, and I saw this thing – I thought it was a bobblehead. But when I looked closer, it was something else.” Vera shared that his first-ever Funko Pop figurine was one of Boba Fett of Star Wars fame.  “I picked up a Boba Fett Funko Pop first. He was a bad guy in Star Wars, but he was misunderstood, kind of like how I was growing up."  Vera's collection continued to grow, and some of the ones he's gotten, Vera admits, reminds him of his childhood.  “When I got the Fraggle Rock set, it reminded me of being young again,” he shared. “I used to sit around with all my cousins and watch Fraggle Rock on this giant Zenith TV with the knobs you had to turn and that you had to bang on the sides to get the lines to go away. Those were simpler times.” Nowadays, Funko Pop figurines have become more and more popular, with the average price being around PHP 500 to PHP 600, while the more rare and exclusive ones can cost up to tens of thousands of pesos.  Vera is the proud owner of 437 figurines, and isn't planning on stopping his collecting anytime soon.          View this post on Instagram                   Pinsan ko si Digo (sorry pic is cropped pogi) went to the same store the day before here @bullyboycollectibles ????????????????????????. Great minds think alike???????????????????????? . If you’re a nerd or geek you’re my kind of people. I got your back ???????????????????????????????? #nerdsoftheworldunite #nerd #verafied #veraclan #onechampionship #heavyweight #world #champion A post shared by Brandon Vera (@brandonthetruthvera) on May 30, 2018 at 11:27pm PDT As for his favorites, well the jolly giant says that it has to be his Christmas Funkos, because of how the season just brings people joy.  “It’s just that time of year, you know?" Vera stated. “From the end of December to the New Year, everybody’s just nicer to each other. Everybody’s more polite to each other. It’s just a different vibe around the entire world – and I love that vibe.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnApr 23rd, 2020

ONE Championship: Heavyweight champ Brandon Vera all praise for challenger Arjan Bhullar

When the world finally gets back on its feet and sporting events become allowed once more, Asia-based mixed martial arts promotion ONE Championship will have a ton of must-see matchups on tap, and one of them is the ONE Heavyweight World Championship bout between reigning titleholder Brandon “The Truth” Vera and top contender Arjan “Singh” Bhullar.  (READ ALSO - Brandon Vera preparing for new kind of challenge: fatherhood) The Vera-Bhullar encounter was initially scheduled for ONE’s return to Manila on May 29th, but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced ONE Championship to postpone their shows for May as well.  When the fight does finally happen, it will likely be worth the wait, especially since Bhullar could be Vera’s toughest test yet, and ‘The Truth’ himself knows it.  “I’m very excited to be fighting Arjan Bhullar and to defend our ONE Heavyweight World Title. I think he is probably the best candidate to come face me,” Vera told John Wolcott of ONE Championship.  “This guy is the real deal. I respect this guy tremendously. His wrestling is ridiculous. He comes from a school just like where I came from – huge pedigree,” he added.  The Indian-Canadian Bhullar, like Vera, made his name in the UFC, compiling an impressive 3-1 record before jumping to ONE. In his promotional debut with the Asian martial arts giant, Bhullar dominated former title contender Mauro Cerilli en route to a unanimous decision victory. Prior to becoming a 10-1 professional mixed martial artist however, Bhullar was a standout on the wrestling mats, representing Canada in the World Championships on multiple occassions, as well as on the Commonwealth Games, the Pan American Games, and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.  While Bhullar’s wrestling has been well documented, Vera says that the 33-year old also has some dangerous hands.  “This guy has amazing boxing that nobody’s talking about,” Vera noted. “This guy’s boxing is ridiculous. His head movement is crisp. He’s fast, and he likes to stay in the pocket.” The biggest weapon that Bhullar may have against the Filipino-American champion however, is the ability to go to deep rounds without fading. Good cardio is often one of the best qualities of a top-level wrestler.  “Arjan has more gas than most heavyweights, and that’s something really different about him,” Vera added. The reigning heavyweight king has yet to go the distance in his ONE career, with all four of his wins coming in the first round. “He knows how to pace himself. Most heavyweights don’t know how to pace themselves. “I’m going to have to push and test and poke in different places that he is not used to,” he continued.  With arguably his toughest test ahead of him, Vera believes that this fight could, and should end in exciting fashion.  “We’re [going to be] in a championship fight. It needs to be decided between us, not the three people watching,” he concluded......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 13th, 2020

Eduard Folayang, Brandon Vera among Filipinos to return to ONE Championship action soon

Folayang, in particular, will see action as soon as October 30 in ONE: Inside the Matrix in Singapore......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsOct 8th, 2020

ONE Championship chief: Brandon Vera could defend heavyweight belt any time

Vera had recently welcomed a son with his wife in Guam, the Singapore-based promotion is giving the Fil-Am fighter some time to get used to fatherhood before calling him up......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 27th, 2020

Former ONE champ Kevin Belingon becomes a father

Former ONE Bantamweight World Champion Kevin "The Silencer" Belingon is now a father!  The Team Lakay star and his wife Lee welcomed a baby girl into the world on August 18th, and "The Silencer" made shared the wonderful news on social media.  The 32-year old Belingon last saw action back in October of 2019, coming up short in his attempt to reclaim the ONE Bantamweight World Championship against reigning titleholder Bibiano Fernandes at ONE: Century in Japan.  Belingon dethroned Fernandes for the title back in 2018, before losing it via Disqualification in March of 2019.  When Belingon returns to action, whenever that may be, you can bet that "The Silencer" will have extra motivation to return to the win column.  Just last month, fellow Filipino world champion Brandon "The Truth" Vera also became a father, welcoming a baby boy. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 19th, 2020

Iranian wrestling champ eyes Brandon Vera s ONE heavyweight title

Greco-Roman wrestling world champion Amir Aliakbari of Iran has recently signed with ONE Championship. And this early, he wants a crack at Fil-Am Brandon “The Truth” Vera’s heavyweight belt......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 17th, 2020

Fatherhood pushes Brandon Vera to new status

There are a lot of challenges waiting for reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera inside the ONE Championship Circle......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsAug 13th, 2020

Iranian heavyweight Amir Aliakbari calls out Filipino-American champ Brandon Vera

Reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon "The Truth" Vera need not look far for willing challengers. The Filipino-American heavyweight king is expected to defend his title against Indian-Canadian challenger Arjan Bhullar in the future, but already, challengers are lining up and calling the champ out.  One of them is newly-signed Iranian heavyweight Amir Aliakbari.  The 32-year old former World Champion Greco-Roman wrestler inked his deal with Asia-based martial arts promotion ONE Championship back in early August, and he wasted little time in making his objective in the company known.          View this post on Instagram                   @onechampionship give me your m* f* champion i cant wait anymore. im the best ?? ????? ???? ?????? ??? ?? ??? ??? ??????? ?? ???? ???? #fights#onefc#amiraliakbari##knockout #kickboxing #wrestling #MixedMartialArts#amiraliakbari#onechampionship #one #imthebest #WeAreONE‌ A post shared by Amirali Akbari (@amiraliakbari60) on Aug 5, 2020 at 11:41pm PDT The 10-1 heavyweight posted a photo of himself and Vera, accompanied by a pretty strong-sounding caption.  "ONE Championship, give me your m* f* champion, I can't wait anymore. I'm the best," Aliakbari wrote.  Aliakbari made a name for himself competing in Japan under the Rizin FF promotion, before a stint in Russia. He has notable wins over the likes of PRIDE FC veteran Heath Herring and Geronimo Dos Santos. His lone loss came against MMA legend Mirko Cro Cop......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 11th, 2020

Vera excited with possibility of facing Buchecha

Filipino-American ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera is spending much needed quality time with his wife Jessica and newborn Atreyu Timothy in Guam amid the pandemic......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsAug 11th, 2020

New dad Brandon Vera says fatherhood a source of motivation

Reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera is now a father.  The Filipino-American mixed martial arts star and his wife Jessica welcomed their son Atreyu Timothy into the world back in July, and it’s given the 42-year old a renewed sense of motivation.  Vera, who has been ONE’s heavyweight king since 2015, says that like winning inside the cage, words simply cannot describe the feeling of becoming a dad.  “I can’t describe how Atreyu was born just like I can’t describe what it’s like to win in the ONE Circle. It’s two peas in the same pod, no words would ever do that justice,” Vera said. “There was one moment when Atreyu first came out, I was in such joy that I threw my arms up in the air and looked straight up at the ceiling and started crying and smiling, thinking, ‘Wow, this is what everyone talks about.’” Much like most fathers in the fight game, Vera says that the birth of his child has become a source of energy.  “It is easier to wake up. I can agree with this statement. I feel more motivated. I get tired less. I don’t know how and why, but that happened,” Vera explained.  The difference is, Vera says that he’s always had family in his mind, which isn’t necessarily the case for other new fathers.  “Everybody keeps saying priorities change, I am not of that same mindset. Family has always been number one for me. I have been waiting for a long time to change diapers, feed the baby, and train with my child in the gym. All plans are still the same. We’re the World Champ, we act accordingly and we keep our title until we decide it is time for the next step.” “Honestly, I re-realize I’m a father every day I open my eyes and see him. Being a father is not only a very important path in life, it’s also a very serious one for me where my teachings and actions will and can help mold Atreyu into a person to help this world,” Vera continued. That newfound energy and motivation should come in handy once Vera makes his long-awaited return to action. The reigning heavyweight king is expected to defend his ONE Heavyweight World Championship against Indian-Canadian challenger Arjan Bhullar......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2020

Brandon Vera relishes fatherhood amid MMA break

After all his accolades throughout his career, Vera now adds the title of father to his long list of accomplishments......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 7th, 2020

Arjan Bhullar promises to be tough test for ONE heavyweight king Brandon Vera

When Filipino-American ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon "The Truth" Vera finally makes his return to action, it will likely come against top heavyweight contender Arjan "Singh" Bhullar.  The Indian-Canadian heavyweight, who had an impressive run in the UFC before jumping over to Asia-based ONE Championship, was impressive in his promotional debut, dominating former title contender Mauro Cerrilli en route to a unanimous decision win.  The win over Cerrilli was enough to earn Bhullar a title shot, and now, he looks to do for India what Vera did for the Philippines.  “I respect Vera for what he has accomplished in this sport. For how long he has been fighting the best, for how he has represented ONE as a champion, for what he has done for the Philippines and the Filipino people, and for what he has done for himself and his family," said Bhullar. "I want to do all of that and more for myself, for India, for Indians worldwide, and for ONE."  “Vera is a great ambassador for the sport and has treated me with the utmost respect. The feelings are mutual, until we become competitors in the Circle," Bhullar continued. Vera, who has been ONE's heavyweight king since 2015, has yet to lose in the division, and has never gone past the first round against other heavyweights as well.  As far as experience goes, Vera - who also made a name for himself in the UFC - has the distinct advantage.  “His strengths are clear. He has a tremendous amount of experience and has seen all the different looks a fighter can see in the cage. He can fight out of both stances, going forward and backward. He is well-rounded everywhere, and has excellent Muay Thai. That has allowed him to finish every single heavyweight threat he has faced,” said Bhullar. In ONE, Vera holds wins over the likes of Igor Subora, Paul Cheng, Hideki Sekine, and Cerrilli. Bhullar, a former Canadian National Wrestling Team member, is by far the toughest test tha Vera will face in ONE's heavyweight ranks.  “But none of those guys were named Arjan Singh Bhullar, nor bring what I do to the Circle," Bhullar confidently stated.  Compared to Vera, who is widely regarded as one of the faces of ONE, Bhullar is a relative unknown. If he can dethrone Vera however, it's hard to not see the 34-year old become a household name, not just in India, but in the world as well.  “I'm younger. I'm hungrier to get what I haven't yet. I have been pursuing the opportunity to be a world champion since I was in diapers. I am a lifelong athlete who still lives and breathes competition to the fullest. I don't have any other distractions or priorities in my life,” said Bhullar. Bhullar's main motivation is to be able to bring pride to India, and he's highly confident that he can get the job done against ONE's most dominant heavyweight star. “I have an entire nation and people worldwide who are supporting my quest. I have the skills that have proved problematic for Vera in his losses in the past. I have the strongest mindset to get this job done, which will carry me through the most extreme conditions. I am a winner. I am one billion strong.”      .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 5th, 2020

ONE champ Aung La N Sang tests positive for COVID-19

Two-division ONE World Champion Aung La N Sang revealed on his Instagram account Friday morning that he has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.          View this post on Instagram                   Dear family and friends, I got tested for covid-19 on Monday and the result came back today and I am positive. So my family and I will be quarantining ourselves for the next 14 days. I had a slight fever, congestion, body ache and fatigue on the first two days. Besides that I am blessed that my whole family is doing well. We are really in this together and we will get over this. A post shared by Aung La Nsang (@aunglansang) on Jul 2, 2020 at 2:21pm PDT “I got tested for COVID-19 on Monday and the result came back today and I am positive,” wrote ONE Championship’s reigning middleweight and light heavyweight titleholder. “So my family and I will be quarantining ourselves for the next 14 days.” “I had a slight fever, congestion, body ache and fatigue on the first two days. Besides that, I am blessed that my whole family is doing well. We are really in this together and we will get over this,” Aung La N Sang continued.  The 35-year old was born in Myanmar, but moved to the United States in 2004. He now lives in Ford Lauderdale, Florida, and trains out of the Sanford MMA stable, formerly known as Hard Knocks 365, under legendary kickboxer and trainer Henri Hooft.  In terms of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of Florida recently became the center of a spike in cases. Now, the state currently has 169,000 recorded cases, making them the fifth-highest in the US, just behind New York, California, Texas, and New Jersey.  Aung La N Sang’s most recent appearance in the ONE circle was back in October of 2019, wherein he successfully defended the ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship by knocking out reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera in the second round. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 3rd, 2020

Meet Onassis Parungao, the first Filipino to compete in the UFC

Most Filipino mixed martial arts fans know of Mark Muñoz and Brandon Vera, arguably the two most popular Pinoy-blooded fighters to compete in the UFC.  More avid fans will know of the likes of Dave Galera, Roldan Sangcha-an, and Mark Eddiva, a trio of Team Lakay standouts who all made it onto the Octagon.  More recently, local stars like Rolando Dy, Jenel Lausa, and CJ De Tomas all proudly wore the Philippines’ colors on their UFC kits.  The distinction of being the first-ever Filipino blooded fighter to compete in the UFC however, belongs to one Onassis Parungao.  Born in Spain to a father from Baliuag, Bulacan and a mother from Spain, Parungao grew up in the United States and competed at UFC 7 back in 1995, defeating Francesco Maturi by strikes in the first round.  Speaking on The Hitlist vodcast, Parungao shed some light on how he got on to the UFC during the early days of MMA.  Parungao, who was 24 years old at the time, studied Tung Kung Kalan or Arnis de Mano before taking up Judo, wrestling, and Kung Fu.  “I was watching it and you know back then, because of the rules and no weight classes, no gloves, I was doing- you know got in a lot of street fights being a Navy kid,” Parungao explained. “So I have that sill here (motions to chest), I wanna get out and I wanna do it, and then I realized ‘Hey maybe I can try that.’” Parungao also admitted that he was hoping that his heritage could somehow help him earn a spot in the tournament.  “To tell you the truth, I knew that there wasn’t a Filipino guy there so I was banking on that they would let me in there, and just all the stars aligned and they just worked. It wasn’t like I had all this fame, they didn’t just have one to apply, so I saw an opportunity, we wrote a letter and I took it.”  In his lone UFC appearance, Parungao took to the Octagon wearing a white shirt that had “Philippines” on the back.  Back then, when the UFC was still starting, one of the things that they did to hype up the competitors was to “exaggerate” their records and accomplishments, so to speak. Parungao was billed as a “Pintakasi champion”.  “I’m not a Pintakasi champion, my teacher was,” Parungao clarified. “But I think they said certain things to hype the fighters up. I wanna get that on record, that I never claimed to be that.”  Following his UFC win, Parungao went on to compete two more times, before retiring quite early in his career. Parungao explained that he had received offers to compete in Japan for the legendary Pancrase promotion, but the distractions outside of competition ultimately dissuaded him from doing so.  “I just got married and then there was this guy named Takeya Oitate, the guy was offering me contracts and money to come and fight in Pancrase and all that stuff, and I’m like I kinda wanna do it, but in Japan, you have bathhouses, there’s girls there and I’ll be fighting and stuff like that, and in my early 20s, all these testosterone, I just got married you know, you’re gonna put me around other fighters and girls and all this other stuff? Like, no way. I didn’t wanna do that.”  Parungao continued to compete in kickboxing tournaments, but admits to having regrets over calling it a career after just three professional MMA bouts.  “Yes, I have some regrets, I do,” he said. “I’m 50 now, but I still feel really strong, you know. I mean, put me in a match against another 50-year-old, that would be fair.” “But to answer your question, I’ve done all these Filipino martial arts, I’ve done all this fighting, I’ve done all this sparring, I was a fighter first and then my Sifu for Chinese martial arts turned me into a martial artist. I don’t wanna say that made me lesser, it just turned me into someone that didn’t need to prove it as much. But I do have some regrets like I feel like I could, you know I never stop training, I still will go to a gym and spar and roll with guys and just like MMA has evolved and improved, so have I,” Parungao added. Parungao remains a martial artist to this day, as he owns and operates the Cheng Yee Kung Fu School in Southeastern Connecticut......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 1st, 2020

How Pinoy athletes kept winning during the lockdown

Sporting events may be suspended or canceled, but that won't stop your favorite Filipino athletes from inspiring or entertaining people as they spend their extra time off doing worthwhile activities during the lockdown period. From reaching out to affected communities to learning a new skill, here are what your idols are up to during the community quarantine. 1)  Proudly serving the nation as frontliners Some athletes have taken their in-game dedication off the court, as they proudly serve the country as frontliners during the COVID-19 pandemic. MPBL players such as Bacoor City's Eric Acuña and Bacolod-Master Sardines' Jopher Custodio are currently heeding the call as frontliners for the Philippine Army, as well as their fellow soldiers UST women’s volleyball coach Kung Fu Reyes and volleyball star Jovelyn Gonzaga. Pasay Voyager's Dhon Reverente also suited up for the Philippine Navy while his teammate Jesse Bustos is serving in the frontlines in another way, using his camera as a photojournalist for a daily newspaper.  2)  Raising funds and holding donation drives Your beloved players continue to exemplify teamwork in these challenging times as they help the dedicated frontliners and affected households in different parts of the country. UST student-athletes joined former Golden Tigresses star Sisi Rondina in auctioning their jerseys for a cause to donate supplies to the frontliners of Barangay Luz in Cebu City. Meanwhile, volleyball legends Alyssa Valdez and Charo Soriano led a fundraiser called "Volleyball Community Gives Back PH," which aims to supply frontliners in the country with PPEs and other essentials—with celebrities like Kathryn Bernardo and Pia Wurtzbach joining their cause. Former DLSU Lady Spikers standout and Creamline utility spiker Michele Gumabao also provided relief packs and gave them personally to the affected communities in Pampanga with the help of the group Your 200 Pesos. 3)  No days off for training and getting the gains Leagues and competitions may have been put on hold, but athletes won't be stopped from keeping themselves in tiptop shape. Observing quarantine, ONE Championship's heavyweight champion Brandon Vera took his workout to the forest, preparing for his upcoming bout against Arjan Bhullar, while Team Lakay fighters, such as Eduard Folayang, Kevin Belingon, and Joshua Pacio improvised household materials as gym equipment. National athletes, such as karateka Junna Tsukii, wushu artist Agatha Wong, and Olympic medalist Hidilyn Diaz, did rigorous training sessions at home to keep themselves in form for upcoming tournaments. High-flyer Ricci Rivero also taught his fans some basic dribbling drills to improve basketball handles—as seen in an episode of "Upfront" on LIGA cable sports channel. 4) Unlocking new skills and focusing on fave hobbies Your fave sports idols also overcame boredom by learning new skills and focusing on their favorite hobbies. For instance, DLSU Green Archers guard Aljun Melecio learned to cook scrumptious lechon while taking a time-out from the hardwood. UAAP volleyball champion and national team player Rex Intal also reminded us that he is a dedicated painter with his mixed portrait of Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, channeling his passion for sports and art into one. And did you know that top local setter Jia Morado is a talented photographer? Check out her Instagram and be amazed by her works. 5)  Taking their talents to TikTok Athletes joined the trending TikTok craze as a source of entertainment during the lockdown. Former UAAP stars Kim Kianna Dy and Jema Galanza posted their dance covers of Young Thug's "Relationship," and Deanna Wong took on "The Weekend" dance challenge. UST Golden Tigresses' rookie Imee Fernandez also wowed the TikTok crowd with a pre-workout dance video, which garnered over 600,000 views online. For Ateneo Blue Eagles guard SJ Belangel, TikTok has also been his avenue to overcome his shyness, doing hilarious skits online.   6)  Becoming stars online No live sports to entertain the audiences? It's not a problem for these athletes who continue to provide fun content to every sports fan, with the help of ABS-CBN Sports. Catch Shaun Ildefonso as he does an entertaining commentary about everything sports on "SRSLY." Also watch Cherry Nunag’s wacky chikahan with famous athletes in "Kalye Confessions: Stay-at-Home Edition." Lastly, the lockdown won't stop the basketball conversation as Beau Belga chats with your favorite hoop idols online, while still chowing down on their fave treats on "Extra Rice with Beau Belga." Watch all of these on ABS-CBN Sports' Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and YouTube channel. Also stay tuned for more new offerings from the sports arm of ABS-CBN.  These athletes have proven they are truly winners in and out of the court. While waiting for live sports to return, you can rewatch the best games of these athletes on LIGA (SD channel 86 and HD channel 183 on SKYCable) and game highlights and special features on ABS-CBN Sports' social media pages and official YouTube account. ABS-CBN Sports will continue its commitment to providing a variety of world-class, exciting, and inspiring content to every Pinoy sports fan. Visit and follow @ABSCBNSports on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For updates, you may also visit or follow @ABSCBNPR on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 8th, 2020

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu icon Tom DeBlass explains reasons for signing with ONE Championship

It’s been nearly seven years since New Jersey native Tom “T-Bone” DeBlass set foot inside a mixed martial arts arena.  Back in November of 2013, DeBlass competed in last MMA bout, knocking out Jason Lambert in just under two minutes at Bellator 108.  Since then, the 38 year old has continuously been active in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu circuit, competing in tournaments such as the ADCC, and the No Gi World Championships.  Last week however, DeBlass confirmed that he will be making a return to mixed martial arts after signing with Asian powerhouse ONE Championship.  For the third-degree BJJ Black Belt, the pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus was a factor in getting him to return to the cage.  “This pandemic has really changed my way of thinking and my thought process. It’s very hard for me to just sit in my home, and I started developing a fire, a drive, and a motivation that I didn’t have before, but I put all my faith in God,” DeBlass told ONE Championship.    DeBlass believes that ONE Championship reaching out to him was the Lord’s will.  “A few days after I had a long prayer, Chatri [Sityodtong] messaged me and asked me what I thought about fighting. If it wasn’t him who messaged me, I wouldn’t have even thought about it.” “I truly admire what he has done with ONE, and I admire him. I said this must be God’s plan,” DeBlass continued.  DeBlass is a former Ring of Combat Heavyweight World Champion, apart from being a Bellator and UFC veteran.  Now, the Ricardo Almeida black belt will be taking his talents to the world’s biggest martial arts stage, and it’s because he has been quite impressed with what he’s seen with ONE.  “If I did come back to competition, it’s with ONE and no one else. I love what ONE Championship stands for and I’ve been to the shows multiple times,” DeBlass stated.  “I love the Samurai spirit. I love the Asian culture. Whether ONE is fighting in Asia or the United States, the culture they have represents much more than mixed martial arts,” he added.  DeBlass sees his return to competition with ONE as a chance to once again display what he can do and have fun while doing it.  “I look at ONE as a way of life and not fighting. I don’t look at ONE as fighting at all. I look at ONE as a chance to showcase my skills once again, have fun and push myself, and hopefully inspire other people.” Coming into the promotion as a heavyweight, DeBlass will be able to test himself against the likes of Alain Ngalani, Mauro Cerrilli, Arjan Bhullar, Vitor Belfort, and reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera.  DeBlass won’t be making any bold predictions as to how far he’ll go in the division however.  “I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I don’t want to disrespect anyone that has been in ONE or any titleholders or anybody who has been putting their time in. I’m just going to say my goal is to inspire everyone, fight by fight.” “Every fight I have, I look to win. Every competition I have, I look to win. Whatever path God takes me on, whether that be a World Title or defeat, I accept my fate. Let’s see what happens. It’s going to be phenomenal,” he concluded. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 25th, 2020

American BJJ legend Tom De Blass headed to ONE Championship

Another big name in the combat sports world has made his way over to ONE Championship, as 3rd degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt Tom "T-Bone" De Blass announced his commitment to the Asia-based martial arts promotion.  "I'd like to announce my official commitment to ONE Championship," De Blass wrote on his official Facebook page. "Life sometimes has twists and turns we don't expect. This pandemic brought all of us to places we never expected to be. Yet this pandemic also forced ourself to look hard and long in the mirror at who we are." De Blass then shared the story of his first encounter with ONE Championship when he was cornering fellow American BJJ star and ONE featherweight contender Garry Tonon.  "I remember the first time I went to corner Garry Tonon, the owner of ONE, Chatri Sityodtong, approached me like he knew me for years. I was so impressed with him, his staff, and the fans. I watched the event, the fighters, the respect, and I immediately loved MMA again, I loved the code of the Samurai, and no organization emulates this code like ONE." "A true champion with Viking warrior blood, he will be competing in mixed martial arts in the heavyweight division, and possibly the light heavyweight division too," Sityodtong said. "With his athleticism and finishing abilities, Tom has the potential to take both divisions by storm, and make a world title run." The 38-year old De Blass is a highly-decorated Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner with championships dating back to 2007. De Blass is a three-time ADCC North American Championships gold medalist. In mixed martial arts De Blass has a 9-2 professional record and won his first seven bouts to become the Ring of Combat Heavyweight Champion. He has also competed in top North American promotions such as the UFC and Bellator.  De Blass should be an exciting addition to the ONE heavyweight ranks that features the likes of Alain Ngalani, Mauro Cerilli, Arjan Bhullar, and reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon "The Truth" Vera. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 20th, 2020

Vera marvels at Bhullar& rsquo;s striking

ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera had a lot of good words for his next challenger “Singh” Arjan Bhullar. He praises the wrestler’s striking, which many people have overlooked when talking about the Indian’s game.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMay 11th, 2020

Pinoy athletes show gratitude to frontliners in music video

Filipino athletes band together in an online rally to show appreciation and gratitude to frontliners braving the battle against the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic this Labor Day. Virtual Playground, which manages a stable of athletes, launched on Friday a music video of the song ‘Fly High” featuring sports personalities. The song was composed by songwriter Joven Tan and sung by Yohance Buie, Hans Paronda, Althea Pinzon and KM Oliveros. With the hashtags #TogetherWeFlyHigh #VPCares and #VPSalutes, the music video highlights the sacrifices and heroism of Filipino frontliners who risk their own lives to help and save those affected by the virus. The song also gives hope and inspiration to Filipinos in this time of crisis.   Among the athletes featured in the music video were PBA stars James Yap, Ranidel de Ocampo, Chris Ross and Sol Mercado. UAAP athletes Ricci Rivero, Andrei Caracut, CJ Cansino, Christiana Dimaunahan, mixed martial artists Brandon Vera and Mark Streigl and volleyball stars Mika Reyes, Kat Tolentino, Jema Galanza, Mela Tunay and John Vic De Guzman participated in the video......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 1st, 2020

How pandemic has rerouted Vera and expectant wife

Millions of lives all over the world have been affected, one way or another, by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera, who was slated to have a big year before this all started......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsApr 29th, 2020

ONE Championship s return to Manila, all events in May postponed indefinitely

It looks like ONE Championship won't be returning to Manila this coming May.  As the world continues to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, community quarantines, lockdowns, and travel bans have been imposed on multiple countries across the globe, including Singapore and the Philippines.  As such, ONE Championship has decided to postpone all their scheduled events in May, as announced by ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong.  ONE Championship was scheduled to return to Philippine shores on May 29th, which would have featured the return of Brandon Vera for a world title defense against contender Arjan Bhullar.  "All May events for ONE Championship will be postponed until further notice due to the recent COVID-19 developments (border closings and lockdowns) across most countries in Asia," Sityodtong wrote. Our highest priority remains the safety and health of our athletes, officials, staff, fans, and the public during these challenging times. My team and I are working around the clock on multiple options to bring back our events as soon as safely possible. Stay tuned for news!" This comes just weeks after ONE initially announced the postponement of their scheduled closed-door events in Singapore starting April due to the country's "Circuit Breaker" partial lockdown, an attempt to prevent the spread of the deadly virus in the country.  ONE Championship had planned to continue to hold closed-door events in April and May in Singapore.  The number of COVID-19 cases continued to rise in the country however, prompting the government to extend the lockdown from May 4th up to early June.  In the Philippines, while trends point to the a 'flattening of the curve' so to speak, the Enhanced Community Quarantine imposed on Luzon has been extended at least until May 15th.  If the government deems it okay to lift the ECQ by then, it's still highly unlikely that sporting events resume just 14 days later. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 27th, 2020