Dana White is doing everything possible to make sure another UFC 149 does not occur. That card was one of the worst in UFC history. Four of the five fights on the main card went the distance, with little to no action. This is the first card following the lackluster pay-per-view card that made many UFC fans upset for dishing out $54.99 for the card. (Okay only $44.99 for standard definition, but no one pays for that anymore right?)
The UFC President upped the antes for UFC on Fox 4 on August 4. In the main event Mauricio "Shogun" Rua takes on Brandon Vera in a five-round fight. The co-main event features Lyoto Machida vs. Ryan Bader.
White stated, which ever of these four performs the best on Saturday night, will get the next title shot. Jon "Bones" Jones will try and defend his UFC light heavyweight belt for the fourth consecutive time at UFC 151 vs. Dan Henderson on September 1.
Dana White originally stated the winner of the Rua vs. Vera fight would get the next title shot. There was a ton of negative feedback when he made that decision. White made the right move and listened to his fans. He made an announcement that Machida and Bader are now in the mix too. Not only does this make the fans happy, but this should add some spice to the Machida vs. Bader fight.
UFC MAIN EVENT
Both of these fighters come in looking for a much-needed win. Shogun has lost two of his last three. Vera has only one win in his last four fights. He is 1-2 with one no contest. A lot of fans were surprised when White made the announcement that the winner would be awarded a title shot.
In Shogun's defense, those two loses came to the two guys who will be fighting for the UFC light heavyweight belt in September. And, the loss to Henderson was one of the best fights of 2011. It was an epic five-round war, that showed sheer determination from both fighters.
Vera's two most recent losses came against current champion, Jon Jones, and UFC Hall of Famer, Randy Couture.
Shogun comes in as the huge favorite. He is one of the best fighters in the world, and is one of the top five 205-pounders in the division. Rua is 20-6 in his MMA career, and 4-4 in the UFC.
Rua is one of the best Muay Thai fighters in MMA. 17 of his 20 MMA wins have come by knockout. He is one of the best knockout artists in the world. All four of his UFC victories have been via TKO. Shogun has been fighting the best in the world for years in the UFC and Pride. He has beaten the likes of Lyoto Machida, Chuck Liddell, Alistair Overeem, Rampage Jackson, Forrest Griffin, Antonio Rogerio Nogueria, and Kevin Randleman.
This is a huge fight for Rua as he looks to get his second chance at Jon Jones, or Dan Henderson, if he can come out with an impressive victory.
Brandon Vera comes into this fight as the huge underdog. He was originally cut by the UFC until Thiago Silva failed a post-fight drug test. Now he gets a chance to earn the right to fight for the UFC light heavyweight belt. He won his last fight against Eliot Marshall to keep his job, and now is entering the biggest fight of his career.
Vera made his UFC debut in October 2005, and won his first four fights. He was expected to be one of the best fighters in the UFC, but things took a quick turn. Since starting 4-0 he has gone 4-5 with one no contest.
The breakdown of this fight will come down to two things. Will the real Shogun show up, and will Vera finally live up to the hype he built when he started his UFC career. Both of these guys are two of the top Muay Thai fighters in the world, but Shogun has the edge in this department.
Shogun is finally healthy, and Vera's best came years ago when the UFC was not as competitive. Rua should have an impressive performance on August 4.
Vera claims he is finally taking a fight seriously, which is something he has been saying for the past two years. Shogun is one of the best light heavyweights in the world, while Vera has been more talk than show.
If Shogun can get a TKO victory, and in impressive fashion, he should be next in line to fight for the light heavyweight belt.
CO-MAIN EVENT PREVIEW
Ryan Bader and Lyoto Machida is a very intriguing fight. Everyone thought Machida was the next big thing in the light heavyweight division. He started his UFC career 8-0. In his seventh UFC fight he won the 205-pound belt, knocking out Rashad Evans in the second round.
He is the only fighter to ever knock out Evans.
He defended his belt one time, beating Shogun Rua in a controversial decision victory.
There was an immediate rematch, and Shogun knocked him out in the first round.
Since that loss, Machida is 1-2, and is looking for a big time performance on August 4. Machida has a karate background, and looked untouchable for awhile.
However, things have changed quickly for "The Dragon."
He will get a chance to erase his recent struggles inside the Octagon, and gets one of the top up-and-coming fighters in Ryan Bader. Machida is 17-3 in his MMA career and 9-2 in the UFC. He has beaten the likes of Shogun Rua, Randy Couture, Rashad Evans, Thiago Silva, Tito Ortiz, Rich Franklin, B.J. Penn, and Stephan Bonnar in his MMA career.
He is one of the most talented fighters in the world, and an impressive victory on Saturday night could get him a second chance at Jon "Bones" Jones, or a chance at Dan Henderson if "Hendo" pulls off the upset against Jones.
Ryan Bader is one of the best wrestlers in the UFC light heavyweight division. During his college wrestling career at Arizona State he was a three-time Pac-10 champion, and was a two-time All American during his college career.
Bader enters Saturday's fight with a 14-2 MMA record, and 7-2 in the UFC. Bader is the former winner of season eight of "The Ultimate Fighter." Not only does he present a strong wrestling base, but he has one of the best overhand rights in the UFC. He is very capable to get a knockout victory with one punch.
Machida comes into this fight as the favorite, but don't be surprised if Bader pulls off the upset. He is an outstanding wrestler with heavy hands. Machida is one of the best fighters in the world in resisting damage, but that has not been the case for Machida in his last four fights. Expect both of these guys to come out strong as they have a chance to earn the right for the next title shot.
Dana White made headlines before UFC on Fox 4, and rightfully so. After a lackluster UFC 149 card, the company needs a big splash on their fourth career card on Fox. Now four of the top 205-pound fighters in the world have the pressure to put on big-time performances. White has put it in the fighters hands to make a significant statement to show why they are best suited to contend for the light heavyweight belt.
White showed why he is one of the best commissioner's in the world by listening to the fans to make them happy. Roger Goodell, Bud Selig, and David Stern would never think twice about changing their stance to make fans happy. White has always proven to make UFC fans happy by changing his mind to do what is best for the sport of MMA. UFC on Fox 4 will show who is best suitable to contend for the UFC light heavy weight belt, and Dana White made that occurrence a possibility.