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Dana White confirms Mauricio Rua-Brandon Vera winner will get title-shot

Former UFC light heavyweight champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua can secure another crack at the belt with a win this Saturday night. At the same time, Brandon Vera can finally reach his ultimate goal with a victory, as well.

Rua and Vera will compete in the main event of UFC on FOX 4 from Los Angeles. UFC President Dana White confirmed on Monday that the winner will become the #1 contender in the division.

“The Vera-Rua winner gets the shot,” said White during a media conference call. “Guys that are fighting on FOX are guys in line for world title shots.”

News of Vera being involved in a contender match came as a surprise, as “The Truth” is just 1-2 with one No Contest in his last four fights. However, White cited his willingness to step up and take the bout with Rua as a reason for giving the fight its due.

“Shogun” is also just 1-2 in his last three but fought to a decision with Dan Henderson in what many consider the Fight of the Year in 2011. He also dropped the title to Jones via TKO that year.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

31 COMMENTS
  • Lord Faust says:

    Anyone else get the feeling Dana is trying to defeat this injury bug via reverse psychology?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Give Faber the next shot at Jones before Vera.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    If Jon Jones gets by Dan Henderson as expected then I do not see either of these two presenting a challenge.

    Jones already gave Rua a severe beating and I would expect the rematch to be the same. If Vera gets by Rua I don’t see him having a prayer of taking the title from Jones.

    Rashad, Rampage, Machida would all be favored to beat Vera and if they were made to look bad by Jones, I don’t see where Vera could do any better.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Lord Faust says:

    Last time Vera fought Jones, he walked out of the cage with a broken orbital and cheek bones. He has actually regressed (somehow) since then….

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Yeah, given that Jones has already given both guys a thorough beating, this just doesn’t make much sense.

    Unless Dana is angling for the Silva-Jones super fight I keep talking about…

    “Anderson, you can fight a guy with fewer than 10 pro fights for your next title defense.”

    “Jon, you can fight Brandon Vera for your next defense. Try to break his other orbital bone this time, to keep things interesting.”

    “Or you guys can fight each other and I’ll guarantee a million dollar payout to the winner.”

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  • Big Stank says:

    Like I said in the other Shogun post, why no talk of Gustufson?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Hopefully Gustafsson will eventually be a viable threat to Jones’ belt, but he’s not there yet. Alex has faced only one top-10 opponent (losing to Mr. Wonderful), and his most recent victory came over a guy whose last official win was about 3 years ago. He’s got some work to do in order to justify a title shot.

    Like I said, hopefully he’ll eventually emerge as a legit #1 contender but he’s at least another win from being in that discussion.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  • RicM says:

    ……yay…….another UFC event I won’t waste my time on…..anything good on Bellator that night?????

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Speaking of Gustafsson I checked his twitter just for kicks and saw the amusing bit…

    “@MitchWestphal: @AlexTheMauler You vs. @SpiderAnderson, how do you think you do??? @ufc” get my ass kicked ;p

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  • raker says:

    It amazes me how quickly Jones has gone from a really good prospect to nearly clearing out the division. I’m not thrilled by Rua or Vera getting a crack at the belt but who else is there? Jones has blown through Rua, Rampage, Vera, Machida, Matushenko, Bader and easily out pointed Rashad. Gustafsson does present an interesting match up but I like the idea of giving him a little more time to develop and keep some potential threat out there on the horizon. Once he fights and presumably gets by Gustafsson there’s not much out there other than Anderson Silva or a run at Heavyweight.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • qat says:

    If Jones wins the Henderson fight there is nothing left for him to do in the division, maybe just a sparkle of Gustafsson. He should go for superfight, its the perfect timing (which he probably wont, sadly – a decision that will taint his legacy indefinitely for me) or make his HW-aspirations come true. Take some time off, gain weight, and storm the next division.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Jon Jones is still uncomplete. He has the potential to become incredible. His wrestling and how he applies it to MMA is the best Ive ever seen. His GnP is the best Ive ever seen. His submission learning curve is amazing. His instincts are brilliant. His physiche is almost perfect for fighting.
    The guy is a freak. Forget BJ Penn, this guy is truely a prodigy.
    Having said that, he will have his Joe Frazier too.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Sorry got confused between psyche and phisique. Jones has both for fighting.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • hindsightufuk says:

    you know what, i really dont like Brandon Vera, in the slightest. I hated the way he was touted as the next big thing, i hated the way Joe Rogan kept telling us how he had the best muay thai in the business, but i’m gonna be rooting for him against Shogun because i would laugh my arse off at Zuffa trying to promote a Vera/Jones rematch. The promotions would be comedy gold as they try to talk up how Vera deserves a title shot.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  • Rece Rock says:

    Zuffa is already back peddling there is no guarantee who is getting the shot & bader/machida winner may get the nod also….

    I think it comes down to who ever puts on the best show and finishes

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Lord Faust says:

    Wild guess what Dana says:

    “So much goes on behind the scenes, you guys don’t understand. You need classes to understand these numbers. These guys, they’re all in the mix. But don’t believe everything you read on the Internet; not even the stuff I said. It was out of context. Look! A BEAR!” *runs away*

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • JabCrossHook says:

    Fedor had the best GnP I’ve ever seen. Jon Jones is impressive but it has nowhere near the power Fedor generated.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • MCM says:

    I’ll agree with JXH on Fedor having the best GnP, and with LOGIC on Jones being the true Prodigy.

    As for cleaning out the division, I don’t think so. As mentioned A.Gust. is making a case for a title shot. As is Phil Davis and Glover Texeria. Even Ryan Jimmo with his record could earn a shot in less than 2 fights. Sure, none of these guys carry the superstar label like Machida, Rampage, or Shogun, but can you argue that none of them have put together as impressive a wining streak? Would any of those 4 prospects be less deserving of a title shot than Jones was when he got the shot? (or Vera if he gets one?)
    I know it’s easy to say that none of those guys belong in the cage with Jones, but it was just as easy to say the Serra didn’t belong in the cage with GSP, or Edgar didn’t belong with Penn or even Jones didn’t belong with Shogun. That’s why they fight.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Fedor had awesome gnp but I think Jones is evolution of what Fedor started.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • Dachman says:

    MCM, with guys only fighting 2-3 times a year you can always say there is someone else new up and coming. As of right now there is no ligit #1 contender. Right now like Silva the LHW division is a one man show!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • MCM says:

    Outside of Rashad and now Hendo, when has there ever been a legit #1 contender in the LHW division? Was Machida a legit contender after losing twice and then beating an old man into retirement? Was Rampage a legit contender after wining a Dec. against Hamill? Was Jones a legit contender, or was he a replacement?
    Fact is, Gustafsson has as good, if not better, a record than Jones did when he was tapped to fight for the title. The only reason he’s not “in the mix” is because of his name. And that’s the UFC’s fault for not trying to build his name, but instead relying on the names of the old guard to bolster their new superstar.
    A.Gust. is by far the most deserving of a title shot right now over everyone else in the division. He’s the clear cut #1 contender. Glover, Jimmo, and Davis are all one finish away from a title shot or at the very least being on par with the LHW’s fighting this Saturday. That’s 4 guys that are right at the top of the division that Jones Hasn’t faced yet. That’s why I say he hasn’t cleaned out the division and why I don’t think rematches are necessary at this point.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    In the MW division the general consensus among fans & media seems to be that the best option as next challenger to Silva’s belt is a guy with fewer than 10 pro fights. The notion of a guy fighting for UFC gold less than 10 fights into his career is going to be a stretch under pretty much any circumstances. That it also happens to be against the greatest fighter of all time makes it a tad absurd.

    Moving over to the LHW division, there’s a very reasonable argument to be made that the best option as next challenger to Jones (assuming he beats Hendo, which everyone including DW seems to be openly doing) is Gustafsson… a guy without a win over at top-10 opponent, who lost his only bout against a top-10 guy. Again, that in & of itself is a bit of a stretch. And then when you couple it with the fact the title shot will be against a guy who has blitzed thru the LHW division, essentially unchallenged thru 11 UFC bouts, it really feels like forcing the issue simply to book a fight and go thru the motions.

    If that ends up being the best options, then it is what it is. It’s not like it’ll be a complete injustice to the sport & us as fans. I just hope the UFC brass will be able to figure out a more interesting formula… super fights, catch weight fights, plenty of “outside the box” scenarios that the UFC could make worth by throwing enough money at these guys.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • MCM says:

    Lesnar had 4 pro fights and got the title shot against a legend and HOFer. Just saying.

    And it’s easy to dismiss Gustafsson as “a guy without a win over at top-10 opponent,” But who was Jon Jones? A guy that beat Ryan Bader? No, cause has also finished Vlady, Hamil (or would have), Vera and beat Bonnar. A.Gust. had to finish Vlady, Hamil, Te Huna, Diabate, and beat T. Silva. That’s not a “stretch”, that’s apples to apples.
    I still stand by the fact that Gustafsson has done more than Jones to earn a title shot. Now if Hendo wins, well that’s a whole different story, but the UFC isn’t preparing for that possibility. And even if they were, Gustafsson is still the proper choice for a title shot.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Yeah, the Lesnar situation was an obvious exception to the norm, only made possible by the notoriously thin HW division. Not much relevance there.

    As for Gustafsson, he’s an intriguing prospect who simply hasn’t broken thru to the next level — he’s faced one top-10 opponent in his career and he was finished in the 1st round. That alone is a stark contrast to the way Jones steamrolled the division, even prior to his title shot.

    To Alex’s credit, he followed up the Davis loss with a very impressive run of 5 victories over solid-but-unspectacular competition. So I’ll again say that I hope he is able to establish himself as a real threat to Jon Jones; he’s just not there yet. I’m not dismissing him any more than I’m “dismissing” guys like Weidman & Belcher at MW — they’re intriguing fighters as well but, IMO, not quite there yet in terms of deserving a shot at the champ.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Davis is another guy that will hopefully continue to improve and eventually become a viable threat for Jones.

    But it’s completely premature to mention Teixeira & Jimmo with Jon Jones. It wasn’t long ago that Jimmo got busted up by Sokoudjou and escaped with a gift decision. And with Glover let’s temper the enthusiasm until we at least see how he does against washed up Rampage.

    I got caught up myself with Lombard, expecting him to take care of Boetsch and set up an exciting pairing with Silva. Unfortunately it just doesn’t work that way, and these guys need to establish themselves first against the top competition.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Hey, looky there, I have a thumbs down warrior following me. That’s sort of flattering.

    But let’s see how diligent you are – if this post doesn’t have a thumbs down by 3:00 p.m. CT my feelings are going to be hurt.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • MCM says:

    (I think it’s Gustafsson) ;)

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Hmmm…that thought had not occurred to me.

    Alex, are you constantly thumbs-downing me?! You lanky, pasty bastard!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  • Lord Faust says:

    Thumbs down without commenting is bad form. I don’t care if someone agrees with me, but I’d like to know why they think I am wrong.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  • Dufresne says:

    Personally I don’t think Vera, Shogun, Bader, or Machida should get a title shot with just one more win. None of them have put together even a 3 fight win streak since their last loss and the best record any of them have in their last 4 fights is 2-2. Hell, Vera wouldn’t even be in the UFC if Thiago Silva hadn’t pissed hot.

    What I think they should do instead is have the winner of Shogun/Vera and the winner of Machida/Bader face off for the #1 contender’s spot. The downside is that a mini-tourney like this would put the next title fight off until around new years at the absolute earliest with late January/early February being more likely. The upside is that even if Vera ends up with the title shot he will be on a 3 fight win streak with the other 3 potential conten

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Dufresne says:

    Sorry, accidentally hit the submit button on my tablet while trying to go back and edit a bit. Sorry. That last bit should have been

    The upside is that even if Vera ends up with the title shot he will be on a 3 fight win streak, Bader would be on a 4 fight win streak, and Shogun and Machida will at least have 2 wins in a row. The cherry on top would be if we got a Shogun/Machida rubber match in the process.

    While that was all taking place they could match up Gustafsson with Teixeira, assuming Teixeira beats Rampage for the next shot at the belt. And if Teixeira were to lose to Rampage they could always set up a Gustafsson/Davis rematch with the stipulation that Gustafsson gets a title shot with the win.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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