If things work out for him this weekend, Filipino-American fighter Brandon “The Truth” Vera could find himself fighting for the UFC light heavyweight title in the near future.
Vera faces former champ Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in the main event of UFC on Fox 4 this Saturday (Sunday Manila time), while fellow 205-lb division contenders Ryan Bader and Lyoto Machida fight in the co-main event with all four fighters in the mix for a title shot.
UFC president Dana White told USA TODAY Sports that all four will have a chance to be the next number one contender for Jon Jones’ light heavyweight belt, depending on what happens in the weekend card.
“Whoever wins the most impressively on Saturday night gets the shot at the title,” said White.
White had initially announced that the Vera-Rua main event would be a number one contender eliminator, but fan backlash on Twitter forced him to make it a four-way race.
Vera has won just once in his last four fights, even getting cut from the promotion after dropping three in a row to Randy Couture, Jones and Thiago Silva. But he was reinstated when the third loss was overturned and declared by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) as a no-contest after Silva was found to have falsified his urine sample.
He bounced back with a unanimous decision win over unheralded Eliot Marshall in October 2011.
Rua is a former UFC and Pride champion who owns wins over Machida, Forrest Griffin and Chuck Liddell in the Octagon. But he’s lost two of his last three fights, including his most recent fight against Dan Henderson at UFC 139.
Despite adding Bader and Machida into the mix, White still believes that an impressive win over Rua is enough for Vera to prove he deserves a rematch against the dominant Jones, who has finished six of his last seven opponents in the Octagon.
And while some fans may disagree, it’s hard to argue that there are currently few contenders in the mix, with most of the big names either coming off losses or already having been defeated by Jones, including all four fighters headlining the weekend card.
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