Shogun Rua vs. Brandon Vera: 4 Fights for Rua to Take Next

Cody GuinnContributor IIIAugust 5, 2012

Shogun Rua vs. Brandon Vera: 4 Fights for Rua to Take Next

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    He may have not earned a title shot just yet, but Mauricio "Shogun" Rua did pick-up the 18th knockout win of his career with his finish of Brandon Vera in the main event of UFC on Fox 4 last night.

    Shortly after the Shogun-Vera bout, UFC President Dana White announced that Lyoto Machida was the most impressive and will face the winner of Jon Jones and Dan Henderson for the Light Heavyweight Championship.

    So, who is next for Mauricio Rua? Here are four possible opponents.

The Loser of Jones/Henderson

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    If Machida is facing the winner of the Sept. 1 title fight between champion Jon Jones and Dan Henderson, Shogun seems like the perfect choice to face the man who comes up short.

    If Henderson is defeated, we get treated to a rematch of one of the most exciting fights in MMA history. Shortly after the UFC 139 bout between Rua and Henderson, rumors began that Dana wanted to do the fight again, but Rua wasn't interested.

    If Jones is defeated, it would also be a rematch for Shogun, who was defeated by Jones at UFC 128 for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.

Rashad Evans

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    Rashad Evans is coming off a loss to current champ Jon Jones and has recently been in the limelight for his potential move to the middleweight division, although nothing is official.

    If Evans stays at light heavyweight, a bout with Shogun would be great for both men.

    Shogun vs. Evans was supposed to happen at UFC 128, but injury forced Evans to pull out of the fight and he was replaced with Jon Jones, who then defeated Rua to become champion.

The Winner of Rampage/Teixeira

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    I understand Rampage has said that this will be his final fight with the UFC, but he initially asked the UFC for his final fight to come against Shogun, but Rampage opted to have double knee surgery and his return date was pushed back.

    Now Rampage will face Glover Teixeira in what is said to be Jackson's final fight with the UFC.

    But, if Rampage defeats Teixeira and the UFC offers him one last fight with Shogun, I believe Rampage would stick it out and take the fight.

    Also, it was well documented that Shogun turned down a fight against Teixeira, but a win for Teixeira over former champion Jackson would line up Shogun and Teixeira for a possible title eliminator. 

Alexander Gustafsson

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    The fight most fans are calling for next is Rua vs. Gustafsson and it makes a ton of sense.

    With Rua's win over Vera last night, he's probably one big win away from being the No. 2 contender behind Machida.

    So, if you needed to book the next fight to see who'll face the winner of Jones/Henderson vs. Machida, the majority of fans are looking at Gustafsson.

    Gustafsson is currently on a five-fight winning streak including wins against Matt Hamill, Vladimir Matyushenko, and Thiago Silva.

    A possible bout between Rua and Gustafsson would be perfect for both men and would also likely have title implications.