UFC heavyweight fighter Brandon Vera was a guest with host John Pollock on Fight Network Radio this past Tuesday. The archive of the show is now available at HardcoreSportsRadio.com.
On the show, Vera was still very vague about his current status. He mentioned to Pollock that he would like to fight not once, but twice before the year is out. How feasible of a goal that is remains to be seen.
Vera confirmed that he’s trying to split from his old manager and that he’s already gone from City Boxing (which his old manager owns) in San Diego and has started his own gym. He said that he has a hearing in front of the California State Athletic Commission soon so that he can officially sever all legal ties from his ex-manager. Vera is expecting to have a ruling before the end of the month. I was surprised to hear this because I had been told that the hearing was supposed to have already taken place. Perhaps it was pushed back?
Vera said he couldn’t talk about the reason for why he wants to split with his manager but hinted it had to do with contracts talks with the UFC. In case you haven’t heard the rumors, apparently his old manager received an offer from Zuffa and turned it down without presenting the details to Vera. There was some speculation that the ex-manager was trying to steer Vera to sign with EliteXC but those rumors were never confirmed by anyone.
He still has one fight left on his contract and confirmed that there had been talks at one point of him fighting Tim Sylvia for the heavyweight title but that it never happened. It is believed that the UFC wanted Vera to take the fight but that they didn’t want him fighting for a title with just one fight left on his current deal. When talks towards an extension weren’t fruitful, they went in a different direction which ended up being Randy Couture coming out of retirement.
A caller asked Vera how he thought he would match up against Fedor Emelianenko. He said he wasn’t sure and that he feels his trainers would be better suited to answer the question since how he would perform against Fedor would be heavily dependent on the game plan that they came up with. At a different point of the interview, he expressed interest in fighting all of the top heavyweights in the UFC and mentioned them all by name.
Vera signed a minor extension with Zuffa several months back. Basically, before the extension the UFC had until October to book Vera in his last match. The new extension allows the UFC more time to schedule the last match on his deal because Vera wanted more time due to all the upheaval that had been going on between his ex-manager and City Boxing. At the time, the move was considered a good sign that Vera would ultimately remain with the UFC.
He had mentioned in the past that he wanted to represent himself once he severed ties with his old manager. Whether that’s still his intent is unknown. But once he’s in the legal clear I fully expect him to re-sign with the UFC. One reason why an extension likely hasn’t happened yet is because his former manager could be entitled to a cut unless his management contract with Vera has legally been voided.