UFC on FOX is a big event, hence increased coverage.
In this case, one of the assignments was why Shogun Rua will crush Brandon Vera at Staples Center in Los Angeles tomorrow night. Usually, such assignments lend themselves to slideshows because there are a host of reasons to argue why one guy will beat another—or vice versa.
But you know what? Not this time.
The reason is pretty simple: Brandon Vera isn’t in Shogun’s league.
He’s barely in Elliott Marshall’s league actually.
He shouldn’t be in the UFC.
He surely doesn’t deserve this chance he’s getting; marketing efforts and the silver tongue of Dana White be damned.
And that’s why an elite mixed martial artist, a former champion in multiple organizations coming off a Fight of the Year against the current top contender (like Rua) is going to demolish him.
The fact is that Vera can strike a little bit. But this isn’t a Thai boxing, and even if it was, he’s probably not on Shogun’s level. Plus, if Dan Henderson isn’t putting Rua away, Vera sure isn’t. They could give him a bat and it wouldn’t make any difference.
And that’s his best chance at victory.
He’s a serviceable grappler, but Rua has tight jiu-jitsu that people rarely see because he loves to slug it out so much. It’s, at best, a wash. At worst, it’s a place Vera absolutely doesn’t want to contest the fight.
Then again, is there any surprise that a guy not in the Top 30 of any sensible ranking in the universe has nothing on paper for a consensus Top 5 guy and likely one of the best pure martial artists in the division?
Look, call this fight what you want. The chance of a lifetime. A real-life Rocky moment. An effort by the UFC to put an exciting main event on FOX. Whatever.
Realistically, it’s a joke as much as anything.
Brandon Vera hasn’t won a name fight since 2006 against a Frank Mir that had recently almost died in a motorcycle accident. He did nothing to earn this, he was basically just a warm body that could weigh 205 lbs when the UFC needed him to. That’s likely to be reflected in the outcome on Saturday night.
So why is Shogun Rua going to demolish Brandon Vera? Because he’s one of the best in the world, and he’s going into the cage to fight a guy who once needed the judges to confirm he’d bested Reese Andy.
That says it all.