Shogun Rua got the win, but it likely wasn’t enough to earn him a rematch with Jon Jones.
Brandon Vera came into this fight as a serious underdog, but he proved he can hang with the best in the division in a grueling four-round war.
Vera got rocked by a ton of shots and somehow found a way to keep on coming forward time and time again, but eventually, Rua’s onslaught was just a bit too much and “The Truth” was knocked unconscious in the fourth round.
What We’ll Remember About This Fight
Shogun really needed to impress if he wanted to earn the title fight against Jones, as Lyoto Machida made a strong case for himself in the co-main event against Ryan Bader.
Instead of coming out and making a statement, Shogun came out strong and ended up gassing himself out early in the fight, giving Vera a chance to have some success of his own.
What We Learned About Rua
He’s still one of the best in the world, but the wars are starting to take their toll on Shogun’s body.
Shogun looked a bit slow and a bit reluctant to trade with Vera on the feet, and he allowed Vera, a fighter who he normally would have destroyed, to earn himself some points.
What We Learned About Vera
Brandon Vera has talent, but he has even more heart.
Shogun rocked “The Truth” with a ton of hard shots throughout the fight, but Vera just kept on slugging away and he ended up landing some serious offense against Rua.
Vera won’t be fighting for a title anytime soon, but he just proved he deserves his spot in the UFC and that he can hang with almost anyone in the division.
What’s Next for Rua
Machida is getting the next shot at Jon Jones, so Shogun is left in a bit of a tough spot.
Shogun is still right on the outside of the title picture, so a fight against hot prospect Alexander Gustafsson makes a ton of sense and could provide another title contender at 205.
What’s Next for Vera
Vera looked more impressive than most people thought possible against Shogun, but he still walked away with the loss and he won’t be fighting another top contender anytime soon.
Still, there’s an opponent waiting out there that Vera desperately wants to get his hands on.
Thiago Silva defeated Vera by decision at UFC 125, but the fight was changed to a no-contest after Silva failed a post-fight drug test.
Since then, Vera has campaigned for a rematch against Silva, and after his performance against Rua, he’ll likely get him.