By: Chris Taylor
Earlier this week, UFC president Dana White stated that “whoever wins the most impressively” from the contests involving Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Brandon Vera and Lyoto Machida vs. Ryan Bader would be deemed the #1 contender for the Light Heavyweight title.
Machida and Bader were the first to take to the octagon last night and that fight resulted in an emphatic KO being delivered by the former champion Machida. That devastating finish from Lyoto was followed by a hard fought 4th round TKO delivered by Shogun Rua, to his very game opponent Brandon Vera.
After watching the two main event bouts, I was torn as to which was ultimately more impressive. Lyoto’s knockout of Ryan Bader was nothing less than devastating, but that said, Bader more less threw himself into the loss column yesterday by leaping into Machida’s right hand.
Shogun on the other hand was fighting a veteran who had everything to gain and nothing to lose in Brandon Vera. Vera fought like a man whose career and families well being were on the line. The two men went back and forth in a serious battle that lasted until the closing stages of the 4th round, where Shogun was able to finish the main event with the TKO stoppage, after Vera was seemingly overwhelmed by fatigue and punishment.
Though I found some difficulty deciphering whose win was more impressive, the UFC and president Dana White had no such problem. They declared immediately following the event that indeed Lyoto Machida was the new #1 contender and that he would be fighting the winner of Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson.
Lyoto stated that he has no preference in regards to who he faces next (Jones or Henderson), but he did state “I have to improve my wrestling”. One can only hope that a rematch between Jones and Machida would prove more competitive than their first meeting at UFC 140, where Jones choked Machida out cold in the second round.
We won’t know until September 1st who in fact the “Dragon” will be facing for the light heavyweight title, but until then we can always speculate. Who do you think Lyoto will be facing Penn Nation and did the UFC make the right call giving the “Dragon” the shot over Shogun? Let’s hear it..Tags: Brandon Vera, Dan Henderson, Dana White, jon jones, lyoto machida, ryan bader, Shogun Rua, UFC 140, ufc news, UFC on FOX 4