Brandon Vera parts ways with UFC

Nissi Icasiano

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Brandon Vera parts ways with UFC
Filipino-American fighter Brandon Vera has opted to part ways with the UFC after nearly nine years with the company

Filipino-American fighter Brandon Vera has opted to part ways with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) after working in the world’s premier mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion for nearly nine years.

FOX Sports initially reported the news on Thursday (PHI Time) that the 36-year-old Vera is no longer under UFC contract, ending one of the most mercurial runs in the organization’s recent history.

“The Truth” (12-7, 1 NC) was last seen in action this past August on the undercard of UFC 164, where he was stopped by Ben Rothwell with a third-round technical knockout.

The 6-foot-2 Alliance MMA standout joined the UFC in October 2005 as a heavily-hyped heavyweight prospect, finishing seven of his eight opponents, including former UFC titleholder Frank Mir.

Vera was expected to vie for the UFC heavyweight strap after an 8-0 winning streak, but a yearlong contract dispute spoiled his plans for a championship opportunity.

By the time it was resolved, Vera was off his game and instantly dropped two disappointing setbacks to Tim Sylvia and Fabricio Werdum.

Vera then elected to move down to light heavyweight, but the outcomes were mixed as he came up short to notable names such as current 205-pound king Jon Jones, MMA legend Randy Couture, one-time UFC champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, and Keith Jardine.

The last time Vera had his hand raised in victory inside the Octagon was when he outpointed Eliot Marshall at UFC 137 in October 2011.

Vera exits the Las-Vegas based MMA company with a UFC record of 8-7 with one no contest. There is no word yet from his camp on the next career move.

NSAC assigns Herb Dean to ref Weidman-Machida title tilt at UFC 175

The Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) gave Herb Dean the assignment to be the third man inside the Octagon for the championship clash between current middleweight titleholder Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida in the main event of UFC 175 on July 5 (July 6 in PHI) at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

The 43-year-old referee from Pasadena, California has handled more than 517 bouts in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), World Extreme Cagefighting, Strikeforce, Affliction and Elite XC.

Dean was last seen officiating for a title tilt at this past month’s UFC 173, where TJ Dillashaw scored an upset over Renan Barao to capture the UFC bantamweight belt.

In addition, he served as an arbiter for Weidman’s two biggest fights in 2013, leading up to his latest title defense against Machida.

Aside from the appointment of Dean as the headlining match’s mediator, the governing body designated Chris Lee, Marcos Rosales and Glenn Trowbridge to function as judges.

Yves Lavigne will be in charge of the women’s bantamweight title encounter between Ronda Rousey and Alexis Davis in the co-headliner of UFC 175.

Lavigne is no stranger to blockbuster showdowns as he was the one who kept a watchful eye in the first meeting between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen at UFC 117 in August 2010 as well as their rematch at UFC 148 two years later.

Meanwhile, NSAC handed Derek Cleary, Doug Crosby and Sal D’Amato the duty to score the female 135-pound scuffle.

Dean and Lavigne will earn $1,500 for their scheduled task at the pay-per-view event, while all cageside officials will be paid $1,200 apiece. –

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