Brandon Vera talks fatherhood ahead of ONE: DANGAL

By Jun Ray Navarres

Reigning ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon Vera admits that he had to make  a few adjustments to his life since welcoming his first son Atreyu Timothy.

Vera faces tougher challenge outside of ONE circle, having become a new father back in July 2020. Luckily for the Filipino-American, his wife Jessica Craven has been helping him a lot in juggling between his family life and professional career.

“All of this, even though it’s just me inside that Circle, it’s not really just me. It’s all of us. When I talk about fighting, it’s usually ‘WE’ and ‘US’ and ‘OUR’ title,” Vera said.

“This camp was a little bit different because we have a baby. I didn’t really notice because if it was sleeping time, if I needed to nap or if I needed to do something, and our son Atreyu was being loud or was being a baby, you know he wants to hang out and wants to go play, Nenja (Jessica) would go with him in a different part of the house and play with him so that I could rest.”

Being a world champion, Vera needs to be at the top of his game all the time but with the addition of a new responsibility his time was even divided.

Jessica has been very understanding and helpful to Vera, taking care of almost everything inside the house.

“Nenja is my godsend. I don’t even have to worry about being a new father. She makes it so that all I have to worry about is training. She does all this while taking care of the baby and still getting me ready for all of the stuff we’re doing, from training to moving, to getting ready to go to the events. She takes care of all of it,” shared the world champion.

“The only thing I’ve ever really been doing on the regular, because I’m the early riser, is I take Atreyu out of the bed with me and I get to feed him and I get to play with him in the morning before practice, so that Nenja can sleep a bit longer. Nenja likes to sleep in, so it’s absolutely perfect.”

Despite spending most of his time training, “The Truth” has enough time to guide Atreyu into growing up with the right mindset.

“To not value stuff. Don’t follow the rest of the world who are materialistic,” Vera said.

“Stuff isn’t valuable, people are. People are priceless. We can’t make people again. I want to teach my son to value people, not things. I want to teach him how to help the world.”

Vera promises to fully support the path that his son will take.

“I don’t know what that’s going to encompass. I don’t know what he’s going to do with his life, but whatever he’s doing, I really want him to make the world a better place,” said Vera.

“You don’t have to be famous. You don’t have to be rich. You don’t have to be anything. Just make the world a better place.”

“The Truth” will return to ONE Circle on May 15 to defend his ONE Heavyweight World Title against Indian wrestling champion Arjan “Singh” Bhullar in the headline of ONE: DANGAL, a tape delayed event from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @burnsports

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