Brandon Vera returned to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight division this evening (Sat., Aug. 31, 2013) at UFC 164, which aired on the pay-per-view (PPV) main card from BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisc., after his five-year Light Heavyweight experiment didn't go as planned.
Awaiting him inside the Octagon was an equally inconsistent Ben Rothwell, who has alternated wins and losses since his Octagon debut back in Oct. 2009. That trend continued this evening.
Vera started off stalking the hard-hitting Rothwell, hammering him a leg kick and a punch combination before fading away. That was all Rothwell needed to go on the offensive, turning the table and hunting down "The Truth" looking to land a one-hit quitter.
He got a shin to the mid-section for his aggressive effort.
Undeterred, Rothwell continued to move forward as Vera circled the Octagon. This went on for about two minutes, with neither fighter really scoring anything significant outside of a punch for Rothwell or a kick for Vera.
And a kick to Vera's junk just as the round opening frame expired.
In round two, Vera came out again like he wanted to dictate the pace, but he was quickly sent backward as Rothwell continued to stalk. He was able to land a nice head kick and then work him over along the fence, but Vera slowed the onslaught with a Muay Thai tie up.
At the mid-point of the round, Vera switched up his stance and then even attempted a takedown of a combination, but Rothwell didn't seem bothered by the adjustments. Vera got back on his bicycle and continued to circle the cage until finally Rothwell caught him and unloaded several "Big" shots that might have won him an otherwise uneventful round.
To start the third frame, Rothwell appeared to be the fresher fighter even though he spent 10 minutes chasing Vera. He landed a nice kick to the gut and then a left hook that forced Vera to stop and grab a hug along the fence to clear the cobwebs.
Rothwell, perhaps bored, then began to impersonate Dominick Cruz, juking and jiving and then just charging Vera in an all out blitz. He charged in, landed a huge upper cut and then several knees to the face the crumpled "The Truth" to the canvas.
Vera had nothing left and Rothwell went in for the kill, registering a very impressive technical knockout.
For complete UFC 164: "Henderson vs. Pettis 2" results, including play-by-play coverage of the entire PPV event, click here.