Wednesday, March 28, 2007


By Loretta Hunt

Heavyweight contender Brandon Vera has signed an extension with the Ultimate Fighting Championship with plans to complete the remaining fight on his existing contract with the Las Vegas-based organization as soon as he is able to.

Vera’s existing contract slated his last fight take place in May, but the fighter was granted the extension by Zuffa LLC., owners of the UFC, to work out legal issues with his current management. Vera, 29, plans to renew his contract with the UFC afterwards.

“I want to stay with the UFC,” the Virginia native said today. “They have some of the best fighters in the world. It’s an amazing stable of fighters and the who’s who of the MMA world. ‘Cro Cop’ [Mirko Filipovic] is a big factor for me wanting to stay. He’s the number-two guy in the world.”

Vera (6-0) knocked out former UFC Heavyweight Champion Frank Mir (9-3) at Nov. 18’s UFC 65 in Sacramento, but has not competed since. Rumored as the next challenger to then heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia’s crown, Vera began renegotiations with the organization but a new contract agreement was not reached at the time.

On Tuesday, Zuffa LLC. publicly announced the purchase of their leading rival in PRIDE Fighting Championships, a move that could inadvertently bolster the UFC’s heavyweight ranks substantially in the near future.

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