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UFC on FOX 4 to determine top contender in light heavyweight division

Fans of Mauricio Rua, Lyoto Machida, and Ryan Bader all got a dose of good news today when it was revealed that one of the three will emerge from UFC on FOX 4 with a title-shot in tow. Rua is scheduled to face Brandon Vera in the evening’s headlining slot while Machida-Bader will collide in the co-main event.

FoxSports confirmed the situation today with UFC President Dana White who explained, “These fighters have a huge opportunity to show the world why they deserve to fight for the UFC title next. 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.”

Rua is believed to be in the driver’s seat and is first in line if he finishes Vera in a dominant fashion with Machida-Bader receiving consideration in the event “Shogun” loses or looks sloppy.

Interestingly, current champion Jon Jones has beaten all three of the contenders in recent years, finishing the trio in their respective encounters. However, if Jones falls to Dan Henderson at UFC 151 it would create a scenario either treating the world to a rematch with Rua or an entirely new match-up for “Hendo” in the form of Machida-Bader.


  • THEGUNNER says:

    Id like to see a hralthy rua get a rematch but finishing vera should never put u st the top.

  • JabCrossHook says:

    Where is Gustaffson in all this? With his reach, speed, and power he’s the only one to potentially give Jon jones fits in the strIking department. I’m not sure if he’s good enough on the ground to pop back up after jones takes him down or to cinsistently defend the takedown. If he is able to do those things he could be the next lhw champ

  • Rece Rock says:

    Machida did do well against JJ in the first round of there fight…. I would rather see JJ continue to beat new opponents before rematching anyone.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Yeah, I’d much rather see Bones face new opponents but considering how quickly he’s torn thru the division that’s becoming increasingly difficult.

    This has the potential to become pretty silly.

    Lyoto’s last time in the cage was his loss to Jones. So is Dana suggesting that a win over Ryan Bader gets Lyoto right back into a title shot?

    As for Bader, he’s 2-2 in his last 4 fights, which of course includes his failed crack at Jones. His most recent victory was a gift against the debilitated Rampage Jackson. In addition to that, he gave Tito the only victory over the final 5+ years of his career. That’s the type of charity that could only be matched by giving Bader a title shot off a victory at UFC of FOX 4.

    Shogun has dropped 2 of his last 3, which again includes a defeat at the hand of the champion. His loss to Hendo was an admirable effort, to say the least, and could have gone in his favor. All said, it’s still tough to say beating Vera should put him right back in line for a title shot.

    I guess if Hendo were to pull off the upset, that changes the picture a bit. But I dunno… this all just feels forced. And if Jones does knock off Hendo to keep things rolling, forcing one of these recycled matchups just feels like a letdown.

    It’s pretty simple — if/when Jones beats Hendo there’s not an intriguing matchup to be made in the immediate future for his next title defense. Same goes for Anderson Silva. If only…

  • hindsightufuk says:

    just sheds light on how far the LHW division has fallen in a few years. From the top division to struggling to find challengers again.
    I dont wanna see Jones fight Rua or Machida again, especially not Bader.
    Even considering Bader as a challenger is ridiculous. Like Stabone said Lyoto’s last fight was for the title, and he ended up in a pile on the floor. Shogun got kicked shitless.
    Personally i’m not sold on Gustaffson, i think he danced his way to a points win over Thiago Silva. Feed him to Rashad next, lets see where he’s at
    Unfortunately i cant see Henderson last too long either, some great match ups if he did win, but i dont see it

  • qat says:

    Yeah all these potential rematches dont really do it for me.., so i hope Henderson wins or Jones wins and after that goes superfight with Silva or heavyweight.., he really tore through that division like a boss.

    If not.. well, too bad they fed Phil Davis to Rashad. Not that i think he would stand a chance vs. Jones now, but imagine he would have fought somebody else than Rashad and won, at least it would have been a marketable fight leading to another demonstration by Jones.
    Gustafsson is a name you can throw into the mix just based on his record alone, and he hasnt really looked bad. I say if he wins his next one and Jones is still LHW pimp, give it to him. But he doesnt really has a fight scheduled, anybody knows why?

  • MCM says:

    I think Jones (provided he gets by Hendo) should take a page out of The Spiders book and fight a weight class up. That’s what Silva did when he had nothing but rematches in front of him. Jones/Barnett anyone?

    I’m also picking Bader and Vera for the wins. ‘Cause Fuck Dana White and his stupid matchmaking is why.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    This card should be fun for my friend and I, mostly because Machida is my favorite fighter and Bader is one of his. I don’t really care about any of the other fights though. A part of me wants shogun to get destroyed just cuz he KOed Machida, but I don’t think that’ll happen.


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