Report: Dana White Says Lyoto Machida and Ryan Bader in Mix for Title Shot After Fan Backlash
By FCF Staff
After confirming that the winner of this Saturday’s bout between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Brandon Vera would receive a title shot, and receiving plenty of fan and media backlash afterwards, UFC President Dana White has announced that Lyoto Machida and Ryan Bader are also possibilities.
The light-heavyweights Machida and Bader are also scheduled to fight at this Saturday’s UFC on FOX event in Los Angeles, and according to a report from USA Today, an impressive win could pave their way to a title shot as well.
“I put together the fights that fans want to see,” White told the publication. “The fans didn’t like the Rua and Vera choice, so here it is: The guy that wins most impressively on Saturday night out of the co-main event and the main event will get the shot at the winner of Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson.”
The confusion over White’s decision also extended to the light-heavyweight champ Jones himself, who upon hearing that the winner of Shogun and Vera would be next in line, tweeted “Scratching my head.”
Jones dominated Rua for the third round stoppage win in March, 2011, and since that time the former champ has gone 1-1 by knocking out Forrest Griffin and losing by close decision to Dan Henderson.
While Vera is coming off a decision win over Eliot Marshall in October, the vet has also been stopped by Jones and is just 2-2 with 1 No Contest in his last five fights.
Jones will meet Henderson at UFC 151 on September 1st, and if he wins, there has been considerable debate as to who are viable contenders at this juncture.
Just last year, Jones handed losses to Rua, Machida, “Rampage” Jackson and Rashad Evans, all of whom are former champs.
White has reportedly acknowledged that Alexander Gustafsson (14-1) is nearing title contention and that the Swedish fighter will fight a top contender soon.
Due to the fact White has been emphasizing the importance of “impressive” wins lately, Glover Teixeira could possibly insert himself into the mix, if he can score a dominant victory over Jackson in October.
The Brazilian vet (18-2) is riding a 16 fight win streak and is coming off a first round, submission win over Kyle Kingsbury at UFC 146 in May.