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 MMAWeekly.com on Twitter and Facebook.

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

Related News

Dana White: If New York legalizes MMA, UFC will put on a card 'with or without' Jon Jones

  • 16 days ago
  • 42 views

UFC's president stopped by SiriusXM Fight Club on Wednesday afternoon and spoke to Ricky Bones, RJ Clifford and Steve Cofield about mixed martial arts (MMA) getting legalized in New York and suspende read news >>

Dana White: If MMA is legalized in NY, the UFC will go there ‘with Jon Jones or without him’

  • 15 days ago
  • 8 views

UFC President Dana White delved into the topic of MMA legalization in New York and whether the UFC would host an event in Madison Square Garden without Jon Jones. For many years, New York Assembly Sp read news >>

Former UFC contender Tyson Griffin announces WSOF release, hints at retirement

  • 24 days ago
  • 12 views

Tyson Griffin is no longer on the WSOF roster, and the former UFC contender is suggesting his fighting career may be over.Filed under: News, UFC, WSOF read news >>

No longer starving body to make 145, Dustin Poirier determined to put on a show

  • 25 days ago
  • 3 views

Already a dangerous fighter for anyone at featherweight, Dustin Poirier seems to have found his true home with the decision to move up to 155 pounds.Filed under: Featured Videos, News, Radio Highligh read news >>

There's a Possibility Jon Jones Never Fights Again, According to Head Coach

  • 25 days ago
  • 39 views

Usually when you see "Jon Jones" and "coach" in the same sentence, you think Greg Jackson. But Jackson is one half of the head coaching team at the world-renowned gym down in Albuquerque, New Mexico. read news >>

Coach uncertain about Jones’ future: Jones is getting help for himself; fighting is secondary

  • 25 days ago
  • 1 views

Coach Mike Winkeljohn remains uncertain whether former champion Jon Jones will return to MMA. read news >>

Muay Thai champ who joined ISIS says haters need a ‘banana with honey to relax’

  • 25 days ago
  • 385 views

Valdet Gashi, who recently joined the Islamic State, had a unique response to haters on social media. Just days following his admission of being involved with the Islamic State (ISIS), former Muay Th read news >>

Coach: Jon Jones back in the gym helping his team, but may never fight in UFC again

  • 25 days ago
  • 389 views

It's been just over a month since former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight champion Jon Jones was involved in a hit-and-run car accident, one that sent a pregnant woman to the ho read news >>

Morning Report: Coach Mike Winkeljohn believes 'there's a possibility' Jon Jones never fights again, says Daniel Cormier

  • 25 days ago
  • 528 views

Coach Mike Winkeljohn has never been afraid to tell it like it is. The head trainer at Jackson's MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Winkeljohn hasn't been thrilled with prized pupil and former UFC light read news >>

Video: After new drug test policy, Dana White & Lorenzo Fertitta willing to be tested too

  • 27 days ago
  • 48 views

Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta were asked if they were also going to be drug tested. The UFC unveiled a new drug testing policy where they will now be working with the USADA, and with this they anno read news >>