Brandon Vera wants to make his return to the Octagon in August, which would be about nine months since his last fight against Frank Mir at UFC 65 in November 2006, according to MMAWeekly.com.
"The Truth" was supposed to finish the final fight on his deal before the end of May. However, the UFC granted him a fight extension to resolve issues with his management team — issues that more or less got him in hot water with the Zuffa brass.
Now, the undefeated star has returned from training in Thailand and has designs to challenge the top heavyweights — and the UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell — in the very near future.
Here's a snip:
"I've been traveling and training, I just got back from Thailand. I want to be back in August. I've been training and my weight is already down to 228. I'm not even training for a fight, but I'm training hard right now.... [I look forward to facing] Arlovski, Nogueira, Cro Cop ... especially Chuck [Liddell]. I still want Chuck. I want to fight him before he's tired of fighting. I want to fight him when he's still in his prime and he's still hungry and he's still hitting people hard. I don't want to fight him after he's over the hump."
Of course, Vera still has to sign a contract extension if the UFC is going to set up those marquee bouts.
However, Vera has made it very clear that he intends to stay with the organization rather than jump ship to EliteXC, which allegedly offered him a whopping $1.5 million signing bonus.
If that's not a sign of dedication and commitment, then I don't know what is.
UFC 74 is slated for August 25 in Las Vegas, which also features the showdown between UFC Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture and Gabriel Gonzaga. Former champions Tim Sylvia and Mir are also tentatively slated to tangle that evening.
Sounds like perfect timing.