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Tuesday, 07/31/2012, 08:34 am

White Changes Tune, Says Four Fighters Now Competing for Shot at 205 lbs. Title | UFC NEWS

The fans have spoken, and UFC President Dana White heard them loud and clear.

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Brandon “The Truth” Vera, Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida, and Ryan “Darth” Bader are now all competing for the next shot at the UFC light heayweight championship currently held by Jon “Bones” Jones. For his part, Jones must first successfully defend his title against MMA legend Dan Henderson at UFC 151 in September.

White announced yesterday that the winner of the upcoming UFC on Fox 4 main event between Rua and Vera would be the next in line to compete for the UFC light heavyweight title. That announcement was met with disapproving reactions from fans and even the champion himself, who said on Twitter he was “scratching his head” over the decision.

In an about face, White now says that “Whoever wins the most impressively on Saturday night gets the shot at the title,” according to USA Today.

“I put together the fights that fans want to see,” White said. “The fans didn’t like the Rua and Vera choice, so here it is: The guy that wins most impressively on Saturday night out of the co-main event and the main event will get the shot at the winner of Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson.”

Many consider the UFC light heavyweight division to be lacking in depth at present, as evidenced by the fact that Jones has beaten all four competitors previously. Furthermore, Bader is 2-2 and Machida is 1-3 in their last four fights, while Rua is 1-2 in his last three contests and is coming off a loss to Henderson. Vera has won only one fight in the past three years and is 1-2-1 in his last four bouts; he would be 1-3 were it not for a failed drug test by Thiago Silva.

“There’s no doubt that Vera is getting the opportunity of a lifetime,” White said. “He’s getting the opportunity of a lifetime, but we’ll see what happens. We’ll see if he makes the most of it.”

White also dismissed Jones’ criticism of the announcement of who he would face next.

“He can scratch his head all he wants,” White said. “Scratch away.”

UFC on Fox 4 airs at 8 p.m. ET on Fox this Saturday, Aug. 4.

Read more: UFC (news), Jon Jones (news)


36 Responses to “White Changes Tune, Says Four Fighters Now Competing for Shot at 205 lbs. Title | UFC NEWS”

  1. Travis says:

    He needs to throw Glover’s name in the hat if he beats Rampage convincingly.

    • Greg says:

      Agreed. And let’s not forget Gustafsson.

    • Jaedr says:

      Nobody beats Jon the first try, but I will put money down that the next former champ to rematch him takes the belt away. Guys who don’t know what it’s like to be in the cage with jones can’t beat him.

      • jim says:

        look i say the one that will get it dont an my take it to him this time is bader

      • BJ is KING says:

        i totally agree with you. You can’t really know what you’re up against until you get in there with jones. Take rashad for example. He would of trained mentally for the fight for a long time and physically too. But when he stepped in that ring he was almost clueless. I think Machida could of beat him if he was given more time to build up, honestly jones caught alot of people in their worst time of their career. Not taking anything away as he is a great fighter.

  2. some dude says:

    I dont want to see any of them get a title shot. Give it to gustifson.

    • Ly-er says:

      It’ll be all good if Henderson actually wins over Jones to take on either fighters next, but if Jones wins there’s no point. Dana does remember that Jones defeated all 4 guys definitively right, (Vera-TKO, Bader-Sub, Shogun-TKO, & Machida-Sub)!!! I will have to go w/ the majority & give the node to Gustafsson as the next #1 contender!

      • Jujitsu Player says:

        I agree, I’ve got no interest in seeing any of these fights, except maybe Machida just because it took Jones one round to figure it out last time and it would be interesting to see what he does differently. I just don’t see any of these guys troubling Jones. Gus is the only 205lb prospect at the moment who presents a genuine challenge to Jones although maybe he needs one more fight against either Rua/Machida/Rashad before he gets his shot.

  3. Thom says:

    yeah atleast gustafsson hasnt been beaten by jones before may as well put him in next.

  4. sdfsd says:

    What a fuckin idiot, we would all rather see Chael Sonnen vs Jon Jones. Is he f’d up or something now? Wtf..

  5. Mark Munoz is a joke says:

    UFC is a joke now
    Haven’t watched a card all year

  6. Rodriguez says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing a shogun rematch with Jones, or a Machida rematch. I would prefer A. Silva to move up but he won’t and Jones won’t fight him either. I really think DW should stop letting fighters talk about the friend stuff and make them fight. It’s not like anyone else in their weight class is really sporting a big money card like this one. Lets tell DW that and maybe he will listen!

  7. Ricky says:

    If anybody deserves it it’s bader I mean he ko’d Dan Henderson that sould seel the deal.

  8. m says:

    The best thing that could happen to the LHW division is Jon Jones losing to Dan Henderson.

    That will open the division up completely.

    That gives Rashad a shot to fight someone. Gives Gustaffson a shot at jones w/o it being a title fight. gives all these other guys on friday a shot at hendo as well.

    we’ll see.

    i figure jones will handle hendo the same way silva did. hurt him on his feet….get him to the ground and submit him.

    or HENDO KO’s bones.

  9. Casual Carl says:

    I’m glad he changed his mind to open up the field a little bit, simply because Brandon Vera doesn’t deserve a title shot. However, even though there are a few more options on the table, none of these matchups are compelling.

  10. Thurgood Jenkins says:

    I don’t understand why I keep getting overlooked for a title shot. When the cops were too busy getting stoned in that van, I wore a wire and almost single-handedly took down Sampson Simpson’s entire drug empire. I kept saying Abracadabra and no help came. I’m ready for a shot.

  11. Adonis says:

    Dana needs to get with it. I am a huge fan of both Machida and Shogun, but they do not deserve a fight putting them as a title contender yet. Sure, they are definitely at the top talent-wise, but they had their chances lately, and they dropped the ball. I believe both of them have what it takes to take down Jones, but it isn’t their time again already. Of the four in question, I believe Bader deserves it the most, but I still don’t believe he deserves it. Vera being in the mix is ridiculous. If Hendo wins (and I pray he will!), then maybe Machida or Shogun deserve it, but not against the current holder. I would love to see Shogun/Hendo II or Machida/Hendo. For Vera, to get him back in the UFC, give him Forrest. Forrest is clearly losing it and if Vera is good enough for the title, that would be a walk in the park. Bader and Gustaffson would be good in my books, I think these matchups would set some things straight, but that is just me.

  12. andy says:

    So in other words… Shogun is getting a title shot…

  13. jdubx says:

    what do all four of these guys have in common? they all got finished by jones. i’d like to see him face someone else, this is turning into the heavyweight division.

  14. jason says:

    They should have had Shogun v Machida and Bader v Vera.

  15. marlee says:

    Texiera, Gustaffson, or Davis would be better than these four

  16. Magoo says:

    It doesn’t really matter who beats who out of the four fighters listed,Jones will school them all again just like he’s gonna school Hendo and Gus. JBJ is the Anderson Silva of the LHW div and if anyone can break AS records Bones is that guy.

  17. wahehe says:

    JBJ vs all four of them…

  18. Gouldx87 says:

    Really…add 2 more unworthy fighters to the number 1 contender list…you really listen to the fans Dana

  19. DanaWhiteTheBoss says:

    I think Forrest Griffin should have his name mentioned as well.

  20. the dragon will beat jones next time they fight…

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