In yesterday’s media call, UFC President Dana White confirmed that only the winner of the main event on this Saturday’s FOX card would be alotted a title shot if they won. The five round main event features one of the greatest of all time, former UFC light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, fighting on free TV when he throws down against a resurging Brandon “The Truth” Vera. UFC On FOX will air LIVE Saturday night at 8pm ET/5pm PT.
However, when social media went buzzing that the winner of the co-main event, Lyoto Machida vs. Ryan Bader should also be considered for a title shot, UFC President Dana White listened and acted on it.
The best part about the UFC organization is it has a president who understands what the masses want and he gives them what they want. All four fighters will now have the opportunity to get a crack at the winner of UFC 151’s Jones vs Henderson. Whichever contender looks the most impressive in victory this Saturday, will get to challenge for the belt.
Dana White said: “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.”
“Shogun” Rua said he’s planning to KO Vera just as quickly as he did Forrest Griffin. Though he admits he’s not underestimating Vera, he has one goal in mind come Saturday. “I want the winner of Jones vs. Henderson. The fight I had with Henderson was a great fight, the fight of the year, and it was a very close fight. I am okay with that, it was a great fight,” Rua said. “But the loss to Jones I can’t live with. I could have done so much better and I want to fight him again. First, though, I have to beat Brandon Vera and winning isn’t good enough. I have to be very impressive, but that it what I have trained to do.”
Vera has a lot to prove coming into this fight against Shogun. Though he’s a huge underdog coming into this fight, he says he’ll prove he’s worthy of a title shot. “I’m so ready for this. This is ‘The Truth’ resurging,” Vera stated. “I feel like I have won the lottery twice, not just fighting a legend like Shogun on FOX, but having the chance to get a title shot. ‘The Truth’ is going to shine though. Shogun is the one who has everything to lose. This is Shogun’s showcase, his spotlight, his time and I’m going to take all that off him. I’m taking his name, his title runs, everything he is, and I’m taking it all for myself.”
Lyoto Machida was the last to face Jon Jones at UFC 140 for the Light Heavyweight title of the four fighting. After losing to Jones in the 4th round by guillotine choke, Machida’s confident that he’s prepared to outsmart Bader and get another go at the title. “My striking is very sharp, and I’ve worked on my wrestling because Bader is a strong wrestler. I’ve made some radical changes in my training, although karate will always be my main focus. I am getting back on the road to the title. I know what I have to do, and I am ready for this opportunity.”
Ryan Bader lost to Jones before he was a champion. Had Bader not lost to Jones at UFC 126, he most likely would have been able to get a shot at the title. This time he knows what’s on the line and he’s hungry for the opportunity. “This is it, time to show what I can do. I’m better than ever; I used to be just a wrestler with a big overhand right, but I’ve added many more skills to my game now,” Bader said. “Fights against Rampage and Brilz have shown my stand-up is a lot more technical and smooth. The win over Rampage felt like the start of a new chapter. After dominating Rampage my confidence went through the roof and I’m now more than happy to face anybody in the light heavyweight division.”
Tickets for UFC® on FOX: SHOGUN vs. VERA are on sale now are priced at $200, $150, $100, $85, $70, $45 and $30. Tickets will be available at the STAPLES Center Box Office or by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase www.ticketmaster.com. Tickets are subject to convenience and service fees.
For more information or current fight news, visit www.ufc.com. All bouts live and subject to change.