When UFC on Fox 4 ends, either Mauricio “Shogun” Rua or Brandon Vera will have earned the next shot at the UFC light heavyweight title.
It came with some shock during a media conference call on Monday that UFC president Dana White backed up an earlier statement by saying that the winner of the main event at this weekend’s UFC on Fox 4 show would indeed get the next crack at the 205-pound belt.
According to White, the winner between Rua and Vera will face the winner of the upcoming UFC 151 main event between light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones and Dan Henderson.
“Yes,” White answered when asked the direct question about the main event fight crowning the next No. 1 contender at light heavyweight.
“Shogun Rua just came off the fight of the year last year and he’s probably one of the greatest fighters in the world in the last decade. This guy knocked out Rampage (Jackson), knocked out Chuck Liddell, knocked out Mark Coleman, knocked out Lyoto Machida, knocked out Forrest Griffin, knocked out Alistair Overeem twice, submitted Kevin Randleman. A win puts this guy right back into position, and he’s probably the No. 2 guy in the world.”
The scenarios in this situation seems mind boggling to most, especially considering the ramifications if Jones defeats Henderson in early September.
Jones mauled Brandon Vera via first round TKO when they met at UFC on Versus 1 back in May 2010, and then did very much the same thing to Shogun when he captured the light heavyweight strap in March 2011 at UFC 128.
Should Jones get past Henderson, it appears he will be set for a rematch against one of the two main event fighters at UFC on Fox 4.
Since his loss to Jones, Rua has appeared twice in the Octagon, defeating Forrest Griffin in Brazil, and losing by decision to Dan Henderson at UFC 139.
Meanwhile, Brandon Vera has gone 1-2-1 over his last four fights, but a win at UFC on Fox 4 will earn the UFC veteran his first title shot since joining the company in 2005.
“Brandon is a guy who burst onto the scene, was gonna be a 205-pound champion, a heavyweight champion, was running through guys left and right. I don’t know what happened, but it’s about opportunities,” White explained about Vera’s surprising position in the title picture. “He accepted this opportunity to fight one of the greatest fighters of this decade and we’ll see what he does with it.”
White also stated that it doesn’t matter how impressive either Ryan Bader or Lyoto Machida were in the co-main event of the evening, the winner in the main event would be the one challenging either Jones or Henderson for the title next.
UFC on Fox 4 goes down Saturday night from the Staples Center in Los Angeles and broadcasts live on Fox starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.