Title Shot Within His Grasp, Brandon Vera No Longer Considers Jon Jones a “Punk”

July 30, 2012
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Brandon Vera - UFC 105UFC president Dana White recently stated that Saturday’s UFC on Fox 4 in Los Angeles would determine the next light heavyweight contender, but on Monday, he narrowed the field down to just Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and, somewhat surprisingly, Brandon Vera.

Rua and Vera are the headliners of Saturday’s event at the Staples Center.

Initially, co-main event fighters Lyoto Machida and Ryan Bader were part of the equation, but that is no longer the case.

“The winner of Vera and Rua gets the shot,” White stated on Monday’s UFC on Fox 4 conference call with the media.

With Rua, Machida and Bader all entrenched amongst the Top 10 light heavyweights in the world, none would be a surprise when considering who gets the winner of Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson at UFC 151 in September, but Vera’s name came as a tremendous surprise to fans and pundits alike.

Vera is coming off of a victory over Eliot Marshall at UFC 137, but prior to that, he has one no contest that followed back-to-back defeats, albeit the losses were to Randy Couture and Jon Jones.

“Shogun Rua just came off a fight of the year and he’s probably one of the greatest fighters in the last decade,” White explained. “It’s all about opportunities. 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. He accepted this opportunity to fight one of the greatest fighters of this decade and we’ll see what he does with it.”

Vera is aware of the opportunity before him, however, knowing that being a late replacement for Rua’s original opponent, Thiago Silva, comes with a fringe benefit he never dreamt it would… a possible title shot.

“This is already a blessing in disguise,” said Vera. “By Dana throwing that out there, this is almost like winning the lottery twice.”

He doesn’t dare look past Rua, who, as White stated, is one of the top fighters over the past decade, but should he complete the Cinderella story, Vera says he is in a much different position than two years ago, when he lost to Jones.

If he beats Rua and Jones defeats Henderson, Vera believes he now has the proper mindset to be successful against the champ.

“The very first time I fought Jon Jones, I thought he was just some young punk and I didn’t respect him at all. I got what I deserved,” recounted Vera. “If and when I do get a chance to fight Mr. Jones again, I promise he’ll have my full and undivided attention.”

Of course, all the talk about title shots and winning the lottery are for not if Vera doesn’t take advantage of the opportunity laid at his feet.

“This opportunity, it’s a dream come true and makes everything okay, and I’m taking full advantage of it. I’ve never been so confident, so sure ever in my life.”

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  • Machterf5

    Kinda hard to call a guy a “punk” after he literally breaks your ******* face.

    • dgs

      LOL! Ain’t that the truth Machterf5.

      Yes Brandon, I’m sure Jon will get your “full and undivided attention” if you fight him again, and you’ll probably still get your face pounded in regardless. But it doesn’t much matter, because I don’t think you stand much of a chance against Rua.

    • mark-31

      LOL! Vera is a joke. He doesn’t even deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as Jones. They are leagues apart.

    • Lesnardo

      Why isn’t Vera fighting Thiago Silva???

      I thought he was “excited” to get revenge.

      Who’s the punk now?

  • samflchr

    Only reason he’s making this fight for a title shot is because people have said bad things about this fight this doesn’t make it any better just pissed a lot of people off?

  • This fight has potential. If they both really bring it, we can be in for a real good thai boxing match. I can only wish. But this fight will go everywhere, their both so well rounded.

    • Lesnardo

      This fight has potential for being a warm up fight for Shogun.

      I couldn’t stop laughing when I saw this article. Vera gets a title shot??????????????????

  • b-soc

    Brandon is going to get killed by Shogun, and if by some stretch of the imagination he does squeak by Shogun, I can only imagine what Jones will do to him this time.

    He took him seriously the first time, he just got destroyed by a fighter 10x as good as him.

    Brandon Vera shouldn’t be in this fight anyways. I had Eliot Marshall winning their fight, and besides, listening to Brandon talk about all he is going to do gets old. At some point, you have to back it up…..Truth!!

  • samflchr

    I guess you don’t have to earn a title shot anymore if Dana gets off his meds he might pick you nobody would pay to watch jones vs Vera its not fair to anybody it’s a joke

  • fightfankevin

    No disrespect to Vera but this could come back to haunt Dana if Vera pulls off the win. Bones/Vera isnt going to sell many ppv’s.

    • spacinjangler

      I hear this. Truthfully, I liked the Jones/Vera match the first time around. Vera has a lot of great tools at his disposal and is fun to watch. He just hasn’t been able to pull off big wins any time recently.

      It is a predicament though that Jones has beat soooo many top guys. Rashad, Machida, Jackson, Shogun, Bader, Vera, Matyushenko…

      There’s almost no-one left. Maybe Forrest Run-Away Griffin…

      Most surprising is cutting Lyoto out. He’s the only one who really gained any traction at all out of the group.

      • b-soc

        Could you tell us more about Brandon’s great tool?

        • Lesnardo

          spaceinjangler doesn’t know what he is talking about.

          First, Vera does NOT have great tools. His best performance to date was KOing Frank Mir. Lol @ Mir!

          Second, the reason why Machida and Evans did better than Shogun and Rampage is because of style and the fact that they faced Jones later. Shogun and Rampage like to engage. Lyoto is a counterstriker and Evans is well…just retarded. Also, Lyoto and Evans had the privilege of studying the videos of Shogun and Rampage fights.

          At the end of the day, Jones has destroyed all of those guys and will most likely destroy Hendo. At that time the UFC would desperately need another contender.

          I just hope that Jones moves up to HW and fight the big boys. I know he can beat Frank Mir and Roy Nelson. I want to see him fight JDS/Cain/Overeem and Carwin.

  • The greatest competitor in the UFC is clearly Brandon Vera’s agent for pulling this off.

    • TKD

      Very well said! No doubt Vera getting a title shot is an absolute joke.

  • Mario

    Stupid stipulation.

    Everybody’s talking about Vera here, but I honestly wouldn’t be too thrilled about seeing Shogun fight Jones again if he wins.

  • jpgagne

    Dana White : He accepted this opportunity to fight one of the greatest fighters of this decade and we’ll see what he does with it

    Who wouldn’t?

  • mma fanatic1982

    Glover!!!!!!!! Gliver.vs.gust.then u.get the.real.num.1.contender! I should.do the match making lol y wasnt this matche made if u want a real num 1 contender for jones nxt

  • MuayThaiFood

    Vera wins this and he’s going to have to change his nickname to “Cinderella”.

  • lowlb

    I am excited to see Machida vs Bader. If they weren’t on this card it would truly suck ass.

    Vera is here to insure Rua fights Jones again.. That is all.. Vera’s a likably guy and it’s going to be sad to hear that he lost.
    I want not part of it. UFC will lose fans this weekend.

    I’d rather watch My Fair Lady or The Sound of Music than most of this card..

    • Lesnardo

      Come on..it’s free on Fox.

      Besides, both Shogun and Lyoto are on it. You are right, everyone else on the card is irrelevant.

    • longtime fan

      Go ahead and watch my fair lady… Ufc doesnt need you to watch it anyways. Some whinny little girl That obviously isnt a true fan. Shogun Is the number one contender after hendo. Always has been. ShOgun will be better this time. He wont get hurt early This time

  • KBEsq

    I’m surprised that no one is talking about the UFC even giving Vera a title shot in the first place. I realize the LWD has an issue right now: namely that the only good fighters have just recently fought, and lost to, Jones. However, right before a VERY unimpressive (and controversial) win over Marshall, Vera just lost three in a row (although one was ruled a no contest, he still got beat).

    I know Glover Teixeira doesn’t have a lot of experience, but why aren’t people talking about him. That fight is more interesting than two guys who Jones recently beat the crap out of.

    They should give Glover a shot, and throw either Vera or Shogun to Rampage. I actually think Vera vs. Rampage is a much more compelling fight, and I’m sure people would love to see the Shogun fight Rampage again.