UFC on Fox 4 Main or Co-Main Event to Determine Next Title Contender at 205lbs

July 25, 2012
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The common theme with the last two UFC on Fox shows is that the main event could hold title implications for a particular division.

At UFC on Fox 2, Rashad Evans earned a title shot at champion Jon Jones when he defeated Phil Davis in the main event. The same was true at UFC on Fox 3 when Nate Diaz submitted Jim Miller, and now he sits awaiting a shot at the UFC lightweight belt.

It appears the UFC will keep that theme alive with a pair of light heavyweight bouts leading the card at UFC on Fox 4, albeit in a very confusing and befuddling manner.

According to a report from Fox Sports on Wednesday, UFC president Dana White and matchmaker Joe Silva will find the next light heavyweight title contender out of the two main event bouts heading the card in Los Angeles on Aug. 4.

Should Mauricio “Shogun” Rua defeat Brandon Vera in impressive fashion, he’s likely the man who will get the call to next compete for the UFC light heavyweight title. If Rua loses or doesn’t shine the way most expect him to against opponent Brandon Vera then the UFC will turn its attention to the co-main event bout between Lyoto Machida and Ryan Bader.

“These fighters have a huge opportunity to show the world why they deserve to fight for the UFC title next,” White said in an email to Fox Sports. “Winning isn’t enough at UFC on Fox. This division is so competitive these fighters have to look great to separate themselves from the pack.

“I’m expecting all of these guys to go all-out to prove why they should be next in line for a title shot.”

This move can only be received with more than a few puzzling looks and raised eyebrows when considering whom the UFC light heavyweight champion is right now.

Jon “Bones” Jones stands as the reigning and defending champion at 205 pounds and he’s blasted through all three of the potential names that could earn a title shot at next weekend’s UFC on Fox 4 card.

Jones submitted Bader in early 2011 to earn a title shot against then champion Shogun, who he then dismantled and destroyed via TKO to claim the title in March of last year.

Jones then met former champion Machida in December 2011 and proceeded to choke him unconscious via guillotine to wrap up his second consecutive title defense.

Obviously Jones’ standing as champion could change because he has a title fight already scheduled for Sept. 1 in Las Vegas at UFC 151. He faces former Pride and Strikeforce champion Dan Henderson. Should Henderson win, that throws a whole new spin on the title picture.

The key thing to remember with all of the “No. 1 contender” talk with this show is the fact that the UFC has on numerous occasions in the past stated that a fight would determine the next title challenger only to change their minds after the night was over.

Jon Fitch was in a No. 1 contender’s bout against Thiago Alves at UFC 117 in 2010, but following his victory he never actually received the nod for a title shot.

That’s just one of many instances where a fighter or bout was intended to determine a No. 1 contender and eventually the UFC shifted gears after the fact.

With the UFC on Fox 4 show just over a week away, the title talk certainly adds an extra layer of drama to the fights on the card, but don’t expect any of the winners in the two main events to be handed a championship contract upon exiting the Octagon that night.

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  • SlackBrian


    Machida JUST got a title shot in December, and was choked out horrifically. And if Shogun defeats Vera (which, come on, he should), then that means he’ll have only had to beat Forrest and Vera to get a rematch with Jones. A rematch from the first fight, where he got destroyed. Is 205 really THAT short on challengers? What about Gustafsson? Hell, I’d rather see Glover get the shot if he gets past Rampage than re-doing the Machida or Shogun fights.

    • Right man that’s messed up to forget Gustaf. He’s on a 5 fight win streak finishing all but Thiago Silva. With all do respect to both Vera and Shogun, I don’t want to see those rematches either.

      • used2bgood

        Do you know who the next guy to get a shot at Jones should be? Well after he beats one or two more top guys…James Te Huna. The kid got dynamite in his hands and pretty good cardio

        • used2bgood

          P.S. Gustaf and Te Huna could make a hell of a main event…then a real candidate for the top spot will be determined.

  • Mario

    I don’t want to see Jon Jones rematch either one of those guys again. He’s already beaten them all. Machida was the only one to challenge him, but he was still ultimately defeated in dramatic fashion.

    Where’s Alexander Gustafsson? Now there’s a fresh contender.

    • The_SaavedraFiles

      Alexander is on the shelf with an injury don’t know what specifically though. and People still like Machida’s chances against Jones. besides the fact he got choked out.

  • Machterf5

    4 guys that Jones has already dominated? Awesome.

    • The_SaavedraFiles

      he didn’t dominate Machida and NO knocking someone down and choking them doesn’t change the fact Machida pretty much had the fight going his way.

      • zacharydetal

        Had the fight going his way? it doesn’t say much when you win one round out of a five round fight. then get choked out in the second. If they rematch, Jones would probably take him down and beat him again.

        • The_SaavedraFiles

          Bandwagon if you think that lightning would strike twice? If they EVER rematch which is likely why would machida allow such a thing again and if it were to happen would it have the same effect on him. no not really. it’s just common sense i sure as hell would let it happen if it were me.

          • The_SaavedraFiles


          • zacharydetal

            Machida fought Shogun twice and was outstruck both times.

          • Rua did NOT out strike Machida in the first fight. Joe Blow and Goldfarb made that up because they were rooting for Rua.

      • Machterf5

        Until he fell down unconscious from being choked. Lyoto may have won the first round, but getting knocked down then choked in the second is far from having the fight “going his way”.

        • The_SaavedraFiles

          i don’t the word Dominate and that fight urkes me cause it wasn’t a dominating fight in my eye’s it was competitive.

          • Machterf5

            Just because you saw it as competitive instead of what it really was, doesn’t make it so. Jones took 1 round to get adjusted and then put Machida away…

            in dominating fashion.

        • MaritalArtist

          By the time he realized how good the choke was, it was too late. Next time I’m sure he would quickly fight out of that type of choke against Jones.

          Machida won round 1. Pure and simple. He just has to make sure Jones doesn’t take him down. Machida has good TDD, so it shouldn’t be impossible.

          Machida also has good endurance, and is not unlike Anderson in his “tag” striking ability.

          I’d love to see any of those 4 guys fight Jones: Gustafsson, Bader, Rua, or Machida.

          • Cptmats

            Completely agree, I would love to see Jones/Machida 2. Machida is very intelligent, and tricked Jones in a kicking and punching match with a karate master. “The_SaavedraFiles” is right, up until the choke Machida had the fight going exactly the way he wanted and i cant see him making the same mistake twice !

          • Cptmats

            Completely agree, I would love to see Jones/Machida 2. Machida is very intelligent, and tricked Jones into a kicking and punching match with a karate master. “The_SaavedraFiles” is right, up until the choke Machida had the fight going exactly the way he wanted and i cant see him making the same mistake twice !

  • The_SaavedraFiles

    Anyways I’m kinda finding thid unfair what IF Vera beats Shogun in dramatic fashion what’s in it for him?

    • shereko

      He gets to stay…

  • WarriorScholar

    Time to eat and move up

  • zacharydetal

    Jones dominated the second round against Machida, just like he dominates the 205 division.

  • maddawgmar

    Let’s be honest… Jones is the first dominate LHW champ since Liddell. Everyone else are just in between champs. Jones will reign until another contender rises up. None of the mentioned guys will beat him. Unless something drastic happens.

    • ifighterc

      i think the word “dramatic” is being used to much

      • maddawgmar

        I didn’t say dramatic, I said “drastic”. As in a drastic change. These fighters have to drastically change how they approach training, fight planning and their skill set.

  • samflchr

    Machida has the best chance. but John jones probably will take him down.iI hope Henderson knocks jones out

  • zacharydetal

    I’m still surprised Vera is Shoguns opponent, it just seems like a weird choice, but i’m happy to see Shogun fighting. He puts on some entertaining fights. I think Phil Davis and Shogun would of made an interesting fight. whats up with lil nog? is he healthy.

  • Triggerman99

    OK, let’s not too carried away here. I’m betting that aside from a complete tornado of domination and destruction from either of these guys, neither one of them is getting the next title shot. All this is is Dana’s way of ensuring that we don’t have a repeat of the UFC 149 main card. He’s basicly saying if you guys try and cruise to a UD victory, you’re not getting a title shot. But if you go out there and make it exciting (i.e. the opposite of anything on the UFC 149 main card that everybody including Dana hated), then you are getting a title shot……maybe. That’s why he worded it that way. He didn’t say win and you get the shot. He said make it good and you might get the shot.
    This way, he’s not tied into anything, but is still able to ensure that these go out there and put on an exciting show and avoid a repeat of that disaster we saw on the last card.

  • RubeKegal
  • Drock420

    Actually a rematch with Shogun vs Jones sounds interesting, only because the fact that Shogun has never lost a rematch in his entire career.

    • MaritalArtist

      I absolutely agree. Shogun is that type of guy. Determined, he can accomplish anything. He simply overestimated Jones in their first encounter.

      • MaritalArtist


  • shereko

    Exactly…. yet everyone says how the LHW division is the most stacked?? and Middleweight was so easy and there is nobody… hmm doesn’t seem that way to me. 5 guys in middleweight could be deserving of a shot, and be hard pressed to find 2 that deserve a shot at LHW, everything is cyclical…

  • natpaukar7

    Everyone seems to be forgetting Wagner Prado vs. Phil Davis, who…despite a loss to Rashad Evans is undefeated and on the list of his victims is the aforementioned Gustaffson who I like as a potential match as well…tho I believe someone said he’s injured?

    Anywyay, I was halfway kidding but Prado is undefeated and I have yet to look at some of his fights but his wikipedia suggests some quick KO and TKO’s. Could be interesting?

    Also…the fact that Shogun has never lost a rematch is an interesting point. But let’s look at it tho…

    His rematches include…Forrest Griffin…who I believe he was overqualified to fight in the first place and came in heavily under prepared and then demolished him like he should have in their rematch…not impressive…

    2nd…Mark Coleman…he didn’t really lose that fight in a typical sense…so again…not impressive…

    Alistair overeem…something to mention…tho both victories were the Overeem of old.

    Machida…he arguably won both times…so…could he beat Jones? I say if the old psycho PRIDE shogun shows up…ABSOFREAKINGLUTELY…is that likely…NOT AT ALL…let’s see what he looks like against Vera…who I think is a terrible fighter who barely belongs in the UFC (harsh but my opinion) not meaning to offend anyone by it.

    any other rematches?…I don’t think those add up to a formula for him to be on the path to beat Jones in their rematch…tho I would love to see it…

    Like Silva…Jones only real challenger is Silva…wanderlei that is…JK of course Anderson Silva.

    LETS DO IT DANA …Silva Jones…Silva deserves two belts before he retires.

  • natpaukar7

    something I find interesting…If silva fights Jones it will be his first black opponent in the UFC…and since 2005…haha I just found that humorous.

  • natpaukar7

    something I find interesting…If silva fights Jones it will be his first black opponent in the UFC…and since 2005…haha I just found that humorous. maybe it was in his contract…

  • MaritalArtist

    Joe Silva: make it happen, Jones vs Silva. Silva won’t call out Jones, so you can tell Jones he will be forgiven for his DUI if he does the Company Man thing and call out Silva. “Silva, I dare you to move up to 205, biotch!”

  • collideoverme

    And the man everyone seems to be forgetting about who deserves more love is Stephen Bonnar. He has still not been ko’d or submitted and took Jones to a Dec.

    • TKD

      Ok, well you go on and love Bonnar all you want. He will NEVER see a title shot in the UFC. At this point, to even call him a gatekeeper is giving him too much credit.

  • goleta83

    This is dumb as ****. Welcome to Strikeforce Ultimate Fighting Championship

  • I’d love to see Machida fight Jones again. I’d like him to win this fight and maybe Gusaffson though. His loss still feels too fresh right now.

  • Actually Jones has destroyed all those guys. Remember he broke Vera’s face which led to Vera exclusively referring to the champ as “Mr. Jones” lol.

  • bajafox

    I just hope that H bomb finds it’s target and throws this whole division upside down.

  • markrenton

    I can understand saying an impressive win from Machida or Bader could lead to a title shot, but Shogun vs Vera…nah. Before Vera’s dull win over Eliot Marshall, Jon Jones broke his cheek bone and then Thiago Silva moved his nose to his forehead. As for Shogun, I lost a lot of respect for him when he told Dana he would rather be fired than fight Glover. How do you give a guy a title shot after he tells you he wont fight a guy that Kyle Kingsbury just agreed to fight? Machida would give Jones the best run for his money, but I just cant see him winning a 5 round fight. Phil Davis does not have the style for Jones, he proved that against Rashad (cant beat good wrestlers). If Glover Tex beats up Rampage, have him fight Alexander Gust for title contention.

  • It is highly unlikely that any of these guys will get a title shot even if they are victorious at UFC on FOX 4. They all lost to Jon Jones already. If Dan Henderson wins, everything is up for grabs but I doubt it. The UFC is just hoping for an exciting card considering its on live tv.

    Check out this article about the card http://www.ufcfightblogger.com/news/ufc-fox-4-winner-light-heavyweight-title-shot/