Brandon Vera - UFC 105UFC president Dana White recently stated that Saturday’s UFC on Fox 4 in Los Angeles would determine the next light heavyweight contender, but on Monday, he narrowed the field down to just Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and, somewhat surprisingly, Brandon Vera.

Rua and Vera are the headliners of Saturday’s event at the Staples Center.

Initially, co-main event fighters Lyoto Machida and Ryan Bader were part of the equation, but that is no longer the case.

“The winner of Vera and Rua gets the shot,” White stated on Monday’s UFC on Fox 4 conference call with the media.

With Rua, Machida and Bader all entrenched amongst the Top 10 light heavyweights in the world, none would be a surprise when considering who gets the winner of Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson at UFC 151 in September, but Vera’s name came as a tremendous surprise to fans and pundits alike.

Vera is coming off of a victory over Eliot Marshall at UFC 137, but prior to that, he has one no contest that followed back-to-back defeats, albeit the losses were to Randy Couture and Jon Jones.

“Shogun Rua just came off a fight of the year and he’s probably one of the greatest fighters in the last decade,” White explained. “It’s all about opportunities. Brandon is a guy who burst onto the scene, was gonna be a 205 pound champion, a heavyweight champion, was running through guys left and right. I don’t know what happened, but it’s about opportunities. He accepted this opportunity to fight one of the greatest fighters of this decade and we’ll see what he does with it.”

Vera is aware of the opportunity before him, however, knowing that being a late replacement for Rua’s original opponent, Thiago Silva, comes with a fringe benefit he never dreamt it would… a possible title shot.

“This is already a blessing in disguise,” said Vera. “By Dana throwing that out there, this is almost like winning the lottery twice.”

He doesn’t dare look past Rua, who, as White stated, is one of the top fighters over the past decade, but should he complete the Cinderella story, Vera says he is in a much different position than two years ago, when he lost to Jones.

If he beats Rua and Jones defeats Henderson, Vera believes he now has the proper mindset to be successful against the champ.

“The very first time I fought Jon Jones, I thought he was just some young punk and I didn’t respect him at all. I got what I deserved,” recounted Vera. “If and when I do get a chance to fight Mr. Jones again, I promise he’ll have my full and undivided attention.”

Of course, all the talk about title shots and winning the lottery are for not if Vera doesn’t take advantage of the opportunity laid at his feet.

“This opportunity, it’s a dream come true and makes everything okay, and I’m taking full advantage of it. I’ve never been so confident, so sure ever in my life.”

Follow @KenPishna on Twitter or e-mail Ken Pishna.
For more
UFC News and UFC Rumors, follow on Twitter and Facebook.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Greg Hardy in the UFC? What Does Dana White Think? |

  • 6 days ago

Former NFL star Greg Hardy recently revealed his intention to transition away from football to a career in MMA. So what does Dana White think of the move? read news >>

Dana White: Conor McGregor no longer wants to fight in Nevada after 'insane' fine

  • 8 days ago

Conor McGregor says he's done fighting in Las Vegas. read news >>

Skip and Shannon debate Ronda Rousey's star-power after Holm knockout | UNDISPUTED

  • 7 days ago

Dana White recently told Skip that Ronda Rousey is one of the biggest draws in sports history, but is that true now? Skip and Shannon debate. read news >>

Dana White responds to Jose Aldo saying he's retired from the UFC

  • 6 days ago

Dana White calls Jose Aldo 'a little ridiculous' for his tirade recently read news >>

Dana White: 'Highly doubt' Greg Hardy can make it in UFC

  • 6 days ago

Hardy is reportedly setting football aside to focus on mixed martial arts. read news >>

Dana White Comments on Potentially Signing Greg Hardy as UFC Fighter

  • 7 days ago

On Wednesday, UFC President Dana White left open the possibility that former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy could one day appear in the UFC during an interview on FS1's Speak for Yourself, per MMA Figh read news >>

Dana White: Georges St-Pierre Not Headlining UFC 206 |

  • 7 days ago

UFC president Dana White on Wednesday shot down hopes of a Georges St-Pierre comeback at UFC 206 in Toronto, naming a different headliner. read news >>

Dana White: Conor McGregor 'can't hold up 2 divisions,' will vacate a title with UFC 205 win

  • 7 days ago

Another confrontation appears to be brewing between UFC officials and one of their most popular fighters, Conor McGregor. Things could come to a head if “The Notorious” leaves the UFC 205 main event read news >>

Dana White: Georges St-Pierre doesn't want to fight

  • 6 days ago

Dana White says GSP just doesn't have it inside him to fight anymore read news >>

Dana White's full interview with Jay and Dan on Fox Sports Live

  • 6 days ago

Dana White sat down with Jay and Dan on 10/12 to talk Ronda Rousey's return, Conor McGregor and more. read news >>