The stakes for the main event of UFC
on Fox 4 just got a little higher.
When Mauricio Rua
and Brandon Vera
square off Saturday night at Staples Center in Los Angeles, a shot
at the UFC light heavyweight title will be on the line. UFC
President Dana White confirmed Monday during a media conference
call that the winner of the scheduled five-round affair will
challenge for the 205-pound belt.
Despite the bout’s headlining status, the news comes as something
of a surprise, since both men have suffered decisive losses to
reigning champion Jon Jones in
the past two years. Rua is 1-1 since his March 2011 run-in with
“Bones,” while Vera is 1-0, after a decision loss to Thiago
Silva was overturned to a no-contest. Moreover, the light
heavyweights are a combined 4-5 (1 NC) in their last 10 starts.
Vera secured his first win since 2009 last fall with a grinding
unanimous decision over Eliot
Marshall. Rua enters Saturday’s bout looking to rebound from a
razor-thin, five-round November loss to former Pride and
Strikeforce titleholder Dan
A win Saturday could potentially set up Rua for a rematch with
Henderson, who will challenge Jones for the title Sept. 1 at
151 in Denver.