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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Brandon Vera Vs Jon “Bones” Jones Pre fight Highlights and news

A little more than three years ago, there was an unbeaten prospect making jaws drop in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
He was defeating bigger men, more experienced men, men he had no right being in the cage with, let alone defeating.
Coaches raved about him; promoters gloated. He seemed a sure bet for stardom.

Forty months later, Brandon Vera shows glimpses of becoming the star that everyone thought he would become. The man who decimated former heavyweight champion Frank Mir in just 69 seconds at UFC 65 still makes a move that causes jaws to drop.
He’s still considered an elite fighter. But he’s now 33 and trying to get off the roller-coaster that his career has become. In many ways, he’ll face a man who is what he was four years ago when he takes on highly touted prospect Jon “Bones” Jones on Sunday at Broomfield Coliseum in Broomfield, Colo., in a live fight card that will be televised on Versus.
Jones is the one being hailed as the UFC’s greatest prospect and a future champion. He’s the media darling now, the guy who admits he watches YouTube to pick up moves.
Vera chuckled at the mention of Jones’ name because he knows what comes with all the hype and all the attention.
“He’s regarded as this super-prospect and he’s just been blowing through guys,” Vera said. “It’s hard not to be impressed with what he shows you. He pulls off things you don’t see too many guys do.”
You get the sense, though, that Vera isn’t particularly concerned. He went through some traumatic times after defeating Mir – he had a nasty split with manager Mark Dion, he had a contract dispute with the UFC, he broke his hand in a fight with Tim Sylvia and he has gone just 3-4 in his last seven – but he’s never been more confident.
He’s coming off a controversial loss to Randy Couture at UFC 105 in November, but he says it almost felt like a win. Many of his peers approached him after that fight and told him how impressed they were that he not only went the distance with Couture, but also that he was forcing the issue.
It was a loss, but Vera hardly regards it as a negative.
“After fighting Randy, I’ve learned so much it’s like I skipped two grades,” Vera said.
He believes he’s the equal of the many elite talents in the UFC’s loaded light heavyweight division and promises a show when he meets Jones.
Both men are offensive fighters and both need the win, albeit for different reasons. Jones is 9-1, with his only loss by disqualification to Matt Hamill in December. It was a bout he was seconds away from winning before landing an illegal elbow and being disqualified.
A win over an elite fighter like Vera would send an unmistakable message to the rest of the division.
“If this kid beat me,” Vera said, sounding almost incredulous at even the possibility of a loss, “a lot of people will pay attention.”
Jones had beaten Andre Gusmao, Stephan Bonnar and Jake O’Brien before losing the bout to Hamill. Jones filed an official protest with the Nevada Athletic Commission, seeking to have the loss overturned, though he doesn’t seem particularly upset that it was denied.
He speaks of himself as if he’s undefeated and has the confidence of a guy who is not only unbeaten but also largely unchallenged.
He comes from an athletic family and his older brother, Arthur, is a defensive tackle from Syracuse who is expected to be a second- or third-round pick in the NFL draft next month. His younger brother, Chandler, is also a football player at Syracuse and is, Jon says, the best athlete in the family.
Jones has gotten plenty of attention from the first day he walked into a gym, but says he hasn’t let it distract him – and he’s not about to let it now.
“Fans or the media may think, ‘Oh, this is an easy fight’ or ‘That is an easy fight,’ but if you fight for a living, you know there’s no such thing as an easy fight,” Jones said. “So I just don’t pay attention to it. I know how hard I train and I know how much I push myself. I’ve never taken anyone lightly and I will never be affected by [the hype].
“Even before I started in the UFC, a lot of people were hyping me. I was in a small circuit in the Northeast and a lot of people were talking about me. It’s nice, but to tell you the truth, I’m so obsessed with getting better that I hardly notice it.”
Vera said much the same thing when he was unbeaten and coming off a devastating, almost jaw-dropping, win over Mir. Now, well into his 30s, he knows how difficult it is, not only to get to the top of the UFC but to stay there.
After he lost to Keith Jardine at UFC 89 in late 2008, his third loss in four fights, Vera asked his longtime jiu-jitsu coach Lloyd Irvin if he’d peaked.
Irvin responded by laughing heartily and telling him he wasn’t even close to his peak.
Vera was talking about himself, but he could have been speaking about either fighter.
“I’ve learned so much but I feel I have so much more to give,” Vera said. “That’s the exciting thing, because I don’t know how good I can really be. I’m still learning and getting more dangerous every day.

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