• UFC on Fox 4

White claims Shogun v Vera winner gets title shot

ESPN staff
July 31, 2012
Brandon Vera was mauled by Jon Jones in his first fight © Getty Images

UFC president Dana White has made the surprising claim that the winner of Mauricio Shogun Rua v Brandon Vera gets the next 205lb title shot against Jon Jones.

Jones is currently set to meet Dan Henderson at UFC 151, and if he wins he is running out of future challengers. Alex Gustafsson has been touted, as has Glover Teixeira, but neither appear ready to meet the challenge.

Shogun and Vera collide this weekend in the UFC on Fox 4 main event, which in itself is a surprise given Vera's highly underwhelming recent record.

Now White has claimed the winner will meet Jones, a man they have both been destroyed by in the past. For Shogun the title chance is at least partially justifiable, given the fact it has always been claimed he was not fit when he first fought Jones, but a title shot for Vera - who was cut by the UFC not too long ago - would surprise many in the MMA community.

"Yes," White answered when asked if the main event fight would crown the next No. 1 contender at light-heavyweight.

"Shogun Rua just came off the fight of the year last year and he's probably one of the greatest fighters in the world in the last decade. This guy knocked out Rampage [Jackson], knocked out Chuck Liddell, knocked out Mark Coleman, knocked out Lyoto Machida, knocked out Forrest Griffin, knocked out Alistair Overeem twice, submitted Kevin Randleman. A win puts this guy right back into position, and he's probably the No. 2 guy in the world.

"Brandon is a guy who burst onto the scene, was gonna be a 205lb 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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.