It's no fun being relegated to undercard status after being tabbed a future star. Brandon Vera is at that crossroads after losing three of four fights. He's been ripped by UFC president Dana White, who has questioned his drive. And now fans and media are asking who is this guy you're fighting, Mike Patt? But be careful the way you pose the question on the eve of UFC 96:
"(Expletive) 'em," Vera said reacting to the media questioning where he is in his career. "I don't give a (expletive). I'm here to fight. I don't need to be televised. I don't need to be the superstar, I need to get in there in fight and whup people's asses."
Watch Vera with Cage Writer as he prepares to fight Patt (3:20 mark):
Vera does admit that his head got a little too big after he rolled to four straight victories to start his UFC career:
"I was getting too much into the media and believing all the (expletive) they write. (Expletive) 'em, let 'em be mad. I don't care."
He says he wasn't training correctly or with the right the focus. He had too many convenient excuses for why he lost to Fabricio Werdum (quick stoppage) and Tim Sylvia (broken hand).
Vera is a huge favorite in tonight's fight at -700. Patt, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt lost his only UFC fight at UFC 88. If "The Truth" rebounds here sky's the limit for big fights at light heavyweight. His income outside the cage is limitless. We also talked a lot about his Filipino heritage. He went on a promotional tour last year in the Philippines and said the interest in fighting from the fans was indescribable.
Check out Cage Writer's UFC 96 fight picks for the entire card including newly posted recommended plays.
Cage Writer is on the scene with a live fight blog from fight No. 1 and a live chat at the start of the pay-per-view broadcast on Saturday night. Check back after the fights for the only live UFC 96 postfight show with Cofield and Versus.com's Ariel Helwani from Nationwide Arena starting at 1:30 a.m. ET. You can listen here.