On Saturday, August 4th, the Staples Center in Los Angeles hosted the UFC on FOX 4 event headlined by a pair of Lightheavyweight fights with title implications. Well, both favorites Lyoto Machida, who took out Ryan Bader, and Mauricio Rua, who dispatched a very game Brandon Vera, made their cases that they should be the next fighter to challenge champion Jon Jones.
But in the end, UFC President Dana White announced in the post fight press conference that it would be Lyoto Machida who gets the next title shot.
It should read ‘gets the next title shot’, since that assumes that Jones will defend his title on September 1st against Dan Henderson, but let’s be honest, Henderson is a long shot. In fact, should henderson pull of the upset, it would open up the division and create many good matches.
In his fight, Rua definitely showed the ability to grind it out, and take punishment, but against Jones, it does not seem like a good strategy. Vera was methodical, and did not get off with the increasing volume Jones would.
Machida remains the most unorthodox of the fighters on te UFC’s light heavyweight roster, and he is still credited with possibly stealing the only round that Jones has lost.
In choosing Machida, White has probably chosen the guy who has the best chance to win against Jones, but it may be a boring fight. Machida is going to have to game plan and steal rounds, whereas Rua probably would have put his head down and come forward.
And if Henderson does pull off the upset, is Machida really gonna get the next shot, or does Jones get a rematch? Because Machida would go into the Hendeson fight a favorite.
Pverall, a terrific bounce back UFC on FOX (free TV) after a dismal PPV in Calgary. Kudos to all the fighters on a spectacular card. And enjoy the cup of redemption, Brandon Vera, you have earned it as well.