Brandon Vera, who will have a chance to score a huge upset when he meets former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua next month, was given the honor of throwing out the first pitch prior to Thursday night’s San Diego Padres-Houston Astros game in San Diego.

Vera and Rua will tangle on August 4 in the main event of UFC on FOX 4.

(Throwing out the first pitch) was more nerve-wrecking than walking out to the cage to get punched in the face. I had never thrown a baseball before in front of anybody before (Wednesday) with my coach. I threw it hard, it crossed home plate with a lot of zip, and I was happy.

Vera sports a 12-5 record in his MMA career, including a recent victory over Eliot Marshall.