UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is one win away from cleaning out the top five contenders in just a year and a half. A win over Henderson opens up the division, yet leaves no real contenders at the top of the heap. Dana White plans to change that with the UFC on FOX 4 event.
“These fighters have a huge opportunity to show the world why they deserve to fight for the UFC title next,” White told FOX Sports in an email statement. “Winning isn’t enough at UFC on FOX. This division is so competitive these fighters have to look great to separate themselves from the pack.
Let’s look past the rhetoric for a second and try and grasp at what White is saying here. In other words, Brandon Vera or Ryan Bader could be in line for the next title shot? Lyoto Machida and Shogun Rua could be in line for the next title shot? One thing all four of these guys have in common is that they already fought Jones and the other is that he dominated all of them.
Just the idea that Dana White would even hint that Brandon Vera could get a title shot with a win over Shogun Rua is almost as big of a joke as the idea that Ryan Bader could get a shot. But let’s look at Brandon Vera for a second. Vera is 1-2-1 in his last four fights. The only reason he is even back in the UFC is because Thiago Silva failed a PED test. Even if Vera gets a lucky punch against Rua there is absolutely no way that the man should get a title shot unless the UFC wants to lose all credibility with their championship. Vera was also destroyed by Jones in one round.
Lyoto Machida is a former UFC light heavyweight champion who has struggled mightily since losing the title to Shogun. Machida is 1-3 in his last four fights, his last being a submission loss to Jon Jones. I like Machida but he hasn’t been the killer he used to be for quite some time. The idea that Machida would get another title shot with 1 win lacks any credibility whatsoever to the sport. I know that there is this fantasy that Machida could defeat Jones but I need more than one win over Ryan Bader to convince me of that.
I have wanted to see a Shogun vs. Jones rematch for some time now. I am convinced that a second fight would be much different than the first. Shogun was hurt and obviously out of shape for the fight. A healthy Shogun would probably still lose but I think it’d be a much different fight. Unfortunately Shogun has blown every opportunity he has had to get back to Jones. The man is 2-3 in his last five fights, going 1-1 since losing to Jones. A win over Brandon Vera should earn nobody a title shot in the UFC, no matter how much I want to see the fight.
Dana White has completely lost his mind if he thinks any of these guys are worthy of a title shot or this is all just one big desperate attempt to grab viewers for the big event. Regardless, I don’t think it will make a difference to anyone.
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