Article by Sherdog.com Staff
After a strong start to his UFC career, Brandon Veraâ€™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.
â€œMy coaches were super excited the fight went like that,â€ Vera told the Sherdog Radio Networkâ€™s â€œSavage Dog Show.â€ â€œA 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. Iâ€™ll let it rip and tear and then come back and fight some more. Iâ€™m not going to say Iâ€™m glad I hurt my arm, but Iâ€™m glad that people got to see it. People got to experience that with me.â€
Vera had won the first and second rounds on all three judgesâ€™ scorecards. The fight turned in the third, though, when Marshall rocked him on the feet.
â€œI guess I got a little bit too relaxed, and he caught me with a good shot, the one I didnâ€™t see,â€ Vera said. â€œI just remember thinking â€¦ â€˜Thereâ€™s no way, no way, no way Iâ€™m going out like this.â€™ I grabbed a single leg and just stuck through it. I was busy at least three more minutes of that round.â€
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.
â€œWhen my arm was straight and it locked out, I was like, â€˜Well, Iâ€™m not going to tap, so we need to figure this out,â€™â€ Vera said. â€œThen 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 couldnâ€™t pull to hurt it anymore. I just kept [pulling] my arm out, flipped over to my knees and kept pulling, pulling, pulling â€¦ . We were basically playing tug of war with my arm.â€
Vera escaped, earning his first UFC win since August 2009. Heâ€™s hoping his show of heart will get him back on track heading into what he believes will be a big 2012.
â€œIâ€™ve never been rocked like that before,â€ Vera said. â€œIâ€™ve never been in a submission before, I donâ€™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 fighterâ€™s character a lot by their performance when you get to see something like that.â€