On Saturday night from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA the UFC will return to FOX. In the main event one of the top light heavyweights of all time Mauricio “Shogun” Rua will take on Brandon “The Truth” Vera. The winner of this five round headliner will be the next in line for a shot at the 205 pound title which will next be defended at UFC 151 as the current Champion Jon Jones takes on challenger Dan Henderson on September 1.
Dana White has announced that this match-up sets up the number one contender regardless of who wins. When Mr. White was asked if Vera was deserving he had no doubts and felt as if Vera has proven himself in the octagon. Vera who is 12-5 with 1 no contest has faced some of top names that have been in the UFC such as Fabricio Werdum, Randy Couture, Tim Sylvia and holds a round 1 stoppage victory of Frank Mir. Vera who faced current champ Jones back at UFC on Versus in March of 2010 feels like he has hit the lottery and hopes to avenge that first round loss.
Vera admits that he was looking past Jones in their first encounter. He thought he was just a kid and didn’t train hard enough for him and paid the price with the loss. “The Truth” feels that this is his opportunity the UFC came calling and he has to take advantage of this chance. The opportunity to become number one contender has made all the ups and downs he has gone through in his career worth it. When Vera was asked about the critics who do not feel that he is deserving of the chance he just wants them to watch on August 4th.
Shogun is both a former Pride and UFC champion and has fought and beat some of the greatest ever. A quick run through of some of the highlights show stoppage victories of former champions that include: Machida, Forrest Griffin, Alistair Overeem x2, Rampage Jackson and UFC Hall Famers Chuck Liddell and Mark Coleman. Rua was most recently inside the octagon in November of last year when he went to war with current title challenger Dan Henderson. Their epic five round affair was the UFC’s fight of the year and will be remembered as one of the all time greatest.
Rua originally was asked to face a fairly new face to the UFC Glover Teixeira who had a first round submission victory in his debut back in May. Rua declined to and accepted the match up with Vera instead sighting the facts that Teixeira still has a long road ahead of him while Vera has already made a name for him in this sport and is more well known. When Rua was asked about his chance at rematch with Jones he stated that he is focused on Vera and that there is now more tape on Jones for him and his coaches to view preparation when the time comes.