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Q&A with UFC light heavyweight Brandon Vera


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Q: What was your reaction to fighting Randy Couture?


Vera: Randy?s a hero. When they first told me I was going to fight in 105, I was like, ?Hell, no. That?s nine weeks from now. I just got done fighting (at UFC 101)." Then they said I?d be fighting Randy and I was like, ?Oh yeah, I?ll fight Randy.?


I always knew at some point in my career I would fight Randy. He?s one of the best. If you?re on a certain path, you?re going to have to cross certain people. I?ve told everyone it?s like a dream and a nightmare coming true at the same time.


Q: What do you respect most about Randy?


Vera: He?s broken all barriers. There is no "old" now. I wouldn?t be surprised at all if he fought until he was 51. The fights in the old dog. But I?ve got to go in and touch that chin, see how much is left in Randy.


Q: Are you worried that your respect for Randy will affect the way you fight?


Vera: When they raise my hand, I want Randy to look over and be like, "That (expletive).? I want him to be proud of me for turning into the fighter I always talked about being. He?s been there and watched me run my mouth at the Olympic training center. I want him to experience it first hand and say to himself, ?He?s going where he said he was going to go.?

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This is why I like MMA so much. The respect that two fighters can have for one another is great, and at the same time..they're beating the hell out of each other. Don't get me wrong, I love a good grudge match, but to see two guys fight each other and still shake hands and compliment one another is cool to me. Vera's a stand-up dude.

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