Brandon Vera Retains Heavyweight Title At One: Conquest of Champions

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Brandon Vera
successfully defended his One Championship heavyweight crown
against Italy’s Mauro
Cerilli
at One: Conquest of Champions. (Photo via Getty
Images)



A Manila crowd already ecstatic at the return of One Championship to the Philippines reached a
fever pitch, as two Filipinos left the arena with belts wrapped
round their waists at the end of the evening.

In the main event, Filipino-American former Ultimate Fighting Championship
light-heavyweight and heavyweight contender Brandon Vera
successfully defended his One Championship heavyweight crown
against Italy’s Mauro
Cerilli
. “The Truth” made his MMA return after two years away
from combat sports, during which time he started an acting career.
The ring rust, though, didn’t prevent him for clipping former
Cage Warriors Fighting Championship heavyweight
kingpin Cerilli on the chin with a well-timed left hook. “The
Hammer” found himself on the floor after overextending in order to
catch Vera with a right overhand. Vera continues to breathe new
life into his post-UFC career with this, his second successful
defense of his One Championship title.

In the card’s co-main event, Eduard
Folayang
seized the vacant One lightweight strap after five
rounds of back-and-forth with Singapore’s Amir Khan.
After a slow start in the opening stanza of the bout, the Team
Lakay representative entertained the crown showing spinning
attacks, flying kicks and huge slams. Folayang took the lead of the
bout and didn’t let it go until the judges rewarded him with a
unanimous decision’s victory. The Filipino fighter became the first
two-time titleholder in One lightweight history.

Elsewhere, Team Lakay’s Honorio
Banario
(14-7) defeated late replacement Rahul Raju (4-4) via
unanimous decision in a welterweight bout. Raju stepped up to this
contest with only four days’ notice. In the first bout of the main
card, American fighter James
Nakashima
(10–0) outwrestled his opponent, Russia’s Raimond
Magomedaliev
(5-1), to a unanimous decision, possibly setting a
championship match against Zebaztian
Kadestam
for the welterweight title.





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