Reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera and top contender Arjan “Singh” Bhullar both exhumed confidence in the lead-up to their World Title clash.
The heavyweight titans will now meet in the main event of the previously recorded ONE: DANGAL, which airs from the Singapore Indoor Stadium this Saturday, May 15.
Their collision course is more than a year in the making, and after several postponements due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both men can’t hide their excitement.
“I’m excited and I’m nervous. I’ve been thinking about Arjan Bhullar for a long time. I’m excited to finally be able to have our contest,” Vera told ONEFC.com.
“I respect Arjan — I’m giving him more respect than anybody else that I’ve faced because he’s the one standing in front of me. I want to find out what he’s got, I want to see how well he can take [what I’ve got], and I want to see if he can move with me.”
For Bhullar, the lengthy layoff hasn’t bothered him, especially because he has remained on his toes ever since the match was announced.
“My greatest strength is my insights, which allow me to train daily, weekly, and yearly. For as long as I have, I stay disciplined all the time – not just when I have a fight booked or I have a competition coming up. I keep my eye on the prize,” Bhullar shared.
“This is my life, my priority, and my life’s work, and I take it very, very seriously. There is nothing more important to me in my life and no other priority, so my insights will separate me from [Vera].
“Skills are great, and being faster and stronger, all those things [are helpful]. But when you have a war of attrition, it’s the insights that always come out, and that’s going to be the difference in this fight.”
Vera, however, knows he will have to be aware of Bhullar’s boxing in order to defend his World Title.
That’s because Bhullar turned heads in his debut, as he dominated striker Mauro “The Hammer” Cerilli on the feet to take a unanimous decision win at ONE: CENTURY II.
“He’s a very, very well-rounded opponent, and most people only talk about his wrestling. They don’t talk about boxing or his head movement, which is crazy to me, so that’s why I’m talking about it,” Vera said.
“His boxing is ridiculous, man. He put hands on Mauro Cerilli in their last outing. He has very good hands, very good head movement, and he doesn’t mind staying inside the pocket.
“As a heavyweight, that’s very abnormal. You don’t have many guys who will stay in the pocket at heavyweight because that’s where all the heavyweights get knocked out.”
Despite that, Vera remains confident that he will have his hand raised at the end of the day.
“I’m a lot faster than him. And we talked about him working in the pocket? It shows your power,” Vera said.
“His style in the pocket and mine are different. When we meet and he sees what mine is, we’ll find out if he wants to stay [there].
“My goal never changes. I make sure that I make a statement of who I am, why I’m the champion, and take that belt home with me every single time.”
Catch ONE: DANGAL on ONE Sports or ONE Sports+ at 6 p.m. Philippine Standard Time (PHT) on Saturday, May 15. It also airs simultaneously on the ONE Super App.
TV5 will have an encore presentation at 12 a.m. PHT on Sunday, May 16.
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