Article by Sherdog.com Staff
After a strong start to his UFC career, Brandon Vera’s struggles the last couple of years led to questions about his heart.
He believes he answered them Saturday, however, when he survived a brutal armbar to outpoint Eliot Marshall in their matchup at UFC 137.
“My coaches were super excited the fight went like that,” Vera told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show.” “A lot of people have been questioning what would Brandon Vera do in a situation like that. Well, you found out. I would let my arm break. I’ll let it rip and tear and then come back and fight some more. I’m not going to say I’m glad I hurt my arm, but I’m glad that people got to see it. People got to experience that with me.”
Vera had won the first and second rounds on all three judges’ scorecards. The fight turned in the third, though, when Marshall rocked him on the feet.
“I guess I got a little bit too relaxed, and he caught me with a good shot, the one I didn’t see,” Vera said. “I just remember thinking … ‘There’s no way, no way, no way I’m going out like this.’ I grabbed a single leg and just stuck through it. I was busy at least three more minutes of that round.”
Marshall was busy too. He locked up the armbar in what Vera called a perfect position because the cage made it difficult for Vera to defend.
“When my arm was straight and it locked out, I was like, ‘Well, I’m not going to tap, so we need to figure this out,’” Vera said. “Then I just turned my thumb over. As soon as I turned my thumb, Eliot took it home. He took the arm with him. I felt my ligaments tear. As soon as it tore, my arm went flat onto his stomach. When it was on his stomach, there was no more pulling. He couldn’t pull to hurt it anymore. I just kept [pulling] my arm out, flipped over to my knees and kept pulling, pulling, pulling … . We were basically playing tug of war with my arm.”
Vera escaped, earning his first UFC win since August 2009. He’s hoping his show of heart will get him back on track heading into what he believes will be a big 2012.
“I’ve never been rocked like that before,” Vera said. “I’ve never been in a submission before, I don’t think. Yeah. I got both of them in one night, hardcore. For me to be able to step up to the plate and come through it — there was for sure some questions in my mind and I did it. I think you can judge a fighter’s character a lot by their performance when you get to see something like that.”