I'm not sure how to write one of "these". You know the articles: the one where the writer thinks he knows more than the participants, and abrasively so. You get a lot of these in the blogosphere, where the author believes his voice can only be heard if he screams it at the top of his lungs or tries to be more clever than his wits allow.
And so for the record, I like Brandon Vera. He seems like a genuinely good guy. His interviews are relatively candid, his wife is awesome and I hope she returns to the cage soon, and Brandon himself strikes me as someone acutely aware of his mistakes, given his career trajectory.
Yet somehow, he can't apply that awareness to his fighting. Brandon Vera vs. Elliot Marshall was a tepid affair for two rounds. Which is odd, since Vera had already essentially been cut by the promotion. It was only until Thiago Silva tested positive for PED's that Brandon was still able to keep his job. Chance has allowed Vera to continue fighting.
And yet he didn't fight like chance was on his side at UFC 137. He fought like a guy who still believes his own hype despite crushing defeats, and lackluster performances that even he himself has owned up to. And he's still talking about fighting for the title in 2012. Elliot Marshall is not a good fighter. He's relatively talented, as he proved in the 3rd round, but there's no reason why Vera shouldn't have done to Marshall what Luiz Cane did.
Vera was recently interviewed on the Savage Dog Show, and when questioned on his thoughts about how the 3rd round against Marshall went, and whether he took 'consolation' in how he reacted, he had this to say: "I do. I do, in a certain way. My coaches wanted to see it....a lot of people have been questioning 'what would I do...what would Brandon Vera do?' in a situation like that. And I found out...I would let my arm break. I would let it tear some more. So...I'm not gonna say I'm glad I hurt my arm. But I'm glad that people got to see it"
Later on, Vera notes, "The fight didn't go exactly the way I wanted it to. But I'm excited with the way the fight went". The problem here is not just that Vera is still referring to himself in the third person. The problem is that he's taken real consolation in an unimpressive victory: that there was victory on top of victory at UFC 137.
But there was only loss. And here we are again, with 'chance' once again saving Vera's ass. Brandon only has a victory to his name this weekend because the judges were too incompetent not to score the 3rd round a 10-8 across the board. But Vera didn't fight with urgency.
He's the unholy counterpoint to B.J. Penn's career. Penn at least performed, even in defeat. Vera can't be bothered to perform even in victory.