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 Discusses Jon Jones in Interview with Colin Cowherd

  • 19 days ago
  • 76 views

Jon Jones was removed from UFC 200 after the United States Anti-Doping Agency informed him of a possible doping violation on Wednesday, and UFC President Dana White was not thrilled with the untimely read news >>

Dana White Done With Jon Jones, Says He Should Clean House

  • 19 days ago
  • 664 views

After years of dealing with numerous out-of-the-Octagon issues swirling around Jon Jones, UFC president Dana White is done dealing with him. read news >>

Dana White on Jon Jones UFC 200 Removal: ‘This is devastating to Daniel Cormier’

  • 21 days ago
  • 292 views

While the UFC moved swiftly to elevate Brock Lesnar vs. Mark Hunt to the UFC 200 main event, Dana White held out hope to get Daniel Cormier another fight. read news >>

Dana White Has 'Zero' Conor McGregor Regrets After Jon Jones' UFC 200 Removal

  • 21 days ago
  • 112 views

UFC president Dana White insisted he has no regrets about pulling Conor McGregor from the UFC 200 card, despite the headline bout for Saturday's Las Vegas event being removed after Jon Jones' potenti read news >>

Dana White Has ‘Zero’ Regret Pulling Conor McGregor from UFC 200

  • 20 days ago
  • 24 views

With Jon Jones having to be pull out with just three days left from UFC 200, one might think Dana White may have some regret in choosing to pull Conor McGregor. read news >>

UFC 200 Embedded, Episode 5: Dana White Drops the Jon Jones Bomb on Daniel Cormier

  • 20 days ago
  • 26 views

On Episode 5 of UFC 200 Embedded, UFC president Dana White informs light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier that Jon Jones is out of the title fight. read news >>

Daniel Cormier vs Anderson Silva Announced for UFC 200: Latest Details, Reaction

  • 20 days ago
  • 2704 views

Anderson Silva will replace Jon Jones at UFC 200 on Saturday and fight Daniel Cormier in a non-title bout. Brazil's Globo reported the news Thursday (via FloSports' Jeremy Botter). TMZ confirmed the read news >>

VIDEO: Anderson Silva and Dana White Explain Making the Fight with Daniel Cormier

  • 20 days ago
  • 23 views

UFC president Dana White and Anderson Silva talk about how it came about that Silva is stepping in to fight Daniel Cormier at UFC 200. read news >>

UFC 200 Predictions: Odds and Picks for Cormier vs. Silva Card

  • 20 days ago
  • 112 views

Jon Jones' removal from the card will cast a big shadow over UFC 200, but the event still promises to be one of the biggest of the year. UFC announced late Wednesday night that Jones wouldn't be figh read news >>

VIDEO: An Emotional Jon Jones Breaks Down After Being Removed From UFC 200

  • 20 days ago
  • 51 views

Holding a press conference to discuss being removed from the UFC 200 fight card for a potential anti-doping violation, Jon Jones broke down in tears. read news >>