Dana White: ‘Shogun’ Rua vs. Vera Winner Gets Title Shot
By Michael Hatamoto
In a rather confusing decision, winner of the Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua and Brandon Vera fight will be propelled to a UFC light heavyweight title shot in early 2013.
UFC President Dana White confirmed the news again during a teleconference call promoting UFC on Fox: Shogun vs. Vera.
In his last five fights, Vera has just two wins – against Krzysztof Soszynski at UFC 102 and Eliot Marshall at UFC 137 – while suffering losses to Jon Jones and Randy Couture. He also lost to Thiago Silva in 2011, but the fight was ruled a No Contest when Silva failed a drug test.
Meanwhile, Shogun already lost to Jones at UFC 128 last March, in a fight that saw the Jones era officially begin. Since then, he finished Forrest Griffin and lost a very close fight against Dan Henderson, in a match that was both Fight of the Night and 2011 Fight of the Year.
Assuming Shogun wins against Vera and Henderson topples Jones later this year, watching the two veterans slug it out in a rematch for the LHW title would be extremely appealing.
It seems confusing, especially in the case of Vera, to argue he deserves a title shot with a win against Shogun. Sure, it’s a tough fight – and he’s the rightful underdog – but it’s a rather questionable call by the UFC.
A Vera victory will make for a rather uninspiring title contender against Jones or Henderson. For those doubting Vera, he just invites fans and critics to tune in on Saturday, August 4 to see how he does inside the cage.