There were contrasting reactions from Jon Jones and Lyoto Machida when reports filtered through that Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Brandon Vera are now within striking distance of a shot at the 205-pound crown come UFC on FOX 4.
Machida and Ryan Bader were also at one time, part of the whole title contender mix, but that has been firmly nipped in the bud in favor of the main eventers.
“Bones” Jones, who is the current UFC light heavyweight champion and has defeated the aforementioned quartet, is on course to defend his crown for a fourth consecutive time when he locks horns with former Strikeforce and PRIDE titlist Dan Henderson at UFC 151.
On hearing the news, Jones tweeted: “Scratching my head.”
With that in mind, he probably wasn’t the only one searching for answers to a decision that has left some of the MMA community up in arms.
The assumption is Jones’s head scratch was in regards to Vera (12-5-1NC MMA, 8-5-1NC UFC) getting a tilt at the title rather than towards Rua, or maybe it was both—who knows?
Nevertheless, with regards to Vera, his train of thought must’ve gone something along these lines:
Wait, what, seriously?
Vera! The same guy I grounded-and-pounded into having facial surgery, the same guy Thiago Silva face slapped until his heart’s content and the same guy who defeated an MMA nonentity (Eliot Marshall) in his last outing, thus giving “The Truth” a respectable sole victory in his last four fights.
If that was or wasn’t the case, well, during a UFC on FOX 4 media conference call, his former victim and erstwhile 205-pound champ Machida took an altogether different view (diplomatic and/or company man approach) of the entire situation.
I think the UFC always positions themselves correctly, and this fight could be a great fight this weekend. 'Shogun' was obviously a champion, and Brandon Vera has fought in two weight classes - he's a great fighter, as well. This fight... could be deserving of a title shot. (via MMAMania.com).
At UFC 139, Rua (20-6 MMA, 4-4 UFC) lost an epic battle with Dan Henderson. A matchup nonetheless, that garnered Fight of the Year honors.
However, some would say, his entitlement to a title shot whilst riding a loss into the Vera fight is unwarranted.
That said, if Rua is victorious, “The Dragon” is open to a rubber match. It was the former who ended the so-called Machida era via first-round knockout back at UFC 113.
I think it would be a great opportunity for the both of us. Obviously I would love to face ‘Shogun' again, and I think he probably feels the same way. It's one victory to each of us right now, and I think it would be a great ideas and definitely put us in a good position for title contention.