If you were told Brandon Vera would be in line for a title shot with a win a Saturday’s UFC on FOX 4 you’d probably do a triple take and call someone crazy. Get that neck ready because the unthinkable happened at yesterday’s UFC on FOX 4 conference call when UFC president Dana White declared the Mauricio Rua vs. Brandon Vera main event a #1 contenders match.
What a difference a day makes. Apparently the major spike in chiropractic visits equated to the triple takes from the possibility of Vera getting a title shot has softened the stance by the UFC. Today in a UFC on FOX 4 press release the headline states that “Four 205lbs Contenders Have Chance to Book UFC Title Shot”. The switcheroo now opens the title chances to not only the main event but the Lyoto Machida vs. Ryan Bader co-main event.
“When the fans speak, we listen. So whoever scores the best win, whoever gets the fans excited by going out there on Saturday and looking the most impressive, he will get the winner of Jones vs. Henderson. It is down to what these four guys do Saturday night in the Octagon. Winning isn’t enough, they’ve got to win impressively. Any one of these four fighters can take things into their own hands and make a title shot happen,” said White in the press release.
The stakes just went through the roof in the two light heavyweight bouts headlining Saturday’s UFC on FOX 4 as the winners will put themselves at the top of the 205 pound division. One will move on to face the winner of the UFC 151 main event between Jon Jones and Dan Henderson that takes place on September 1st while the other will likely find himself in a #1 contenders match next time he steps into the Octagon.
On a side note, if Jones is successful in his bid at a fourth title defense, whomever of the four light heavyweights that earn the next title defense will be a familiar face to the champ. Jones defeated Brandon Vera and Ryan Bader on his way to the title. He then defeated Mauricio Rua at UFC 128 to win the title and two fights later would successfully defend it against Lyoto Machida. All four were finished by the champ and only Rua made it past the second round.
The four light heavyweight hopefuls need to take care of business at Saturday’s UFC on FOX 4 fight though.