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Tag: Brandon Vera

The Unsupportable Opinion: If Lyoto Machida Wins Tonight, he Automatically Gets Next Title Shot


Props: Jason Deebank via MMAFanMade

By Seth Falvo (@SethFalvo)

We’re just hours away from UFC on FOX 4, where four men will attempt to become the least impressive light-heavyweight title challenger since Elvis Sinosic by winning in the most impressive manner possible. To paraphrase Jeff Fox, the winner of the upcoming Jones vs. Henderson bout will defend his belt against the winner of tonight’s semantics game. There’s got to be a catch, right?

Of course there is. Even the dimmest MMA fans among us have already interpreted this as a way for Dana White to back out of giving Brandon Vera a title shot if he were to actually defeat Shogun Rua tonight. Shogun is obviously the preferable contender, but just in case he blows this somehow, we’ll shrug it off and put the winner of Machida/Bader in the cage with Jones/Hendo, right? Quite the contrary: This semantics game was designed to give Lyoto Machida a title shot with a victory.

Right now, some of you are screaming “What kind of idiot hack journalist are you, Seth?!” at your screens. First, allow me to welcome you to Cage Potato; you’re obviously new here. Second, let me lay it out for you with four simple reasons after the jump.

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‘UFC on FOX 4: Shogun vs. Vera’ Preview and Predictions


(“You know the deal, guys. Whoever puts on the most impressive performance tonight gets the title shot.” [*unzips*] / Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.com. For more photos from this set, click here.)

By Ryan Sarr

Who is going to win the “Jon Jones Sweepstakes?” That is the big question heading into the UFC’s fourth venture onto network television tonight. Dana White was so pissed about the boring, lackluster abomination that was the UFC 149 main card, that he decided to award a light-heavyweight title shot to the man who wins the “most impressively“ among the four main and co-main event participants. (Yes, even Brandon Vera)  The only problem with this scenario is that all four men — Shogun, Vera, Machida, and Bader — have each been decisively destroyed by Jon Jones in previous fights.

Nonetheless, this fight card is still very intriguing and offers many reasons to tune in.  First of all: It’s free on Fox. Second, all four main card bouts are likely to be exciting, fast-paced battles. It also marks the return of the very talented Mike Swick to the Octagon, who hasn’t fought in over two years. Finally, we have a chance to see a true Cinderella story play out once again as Jamie Varner gets a chance to take another huge step up in his comeback by fighting on a main card on network television. So, join me as I break down the main card for UFC on Fox 4 and offer my predictions as to who will emerge victorious.

Mike Swick (14-4, 9-3 UFC) vs. DaMarques Johnson (15-10, 4-4 UFC)

DaMarques Johnson said in the fight promo, “There’s a 50% chance I’m gonna win this fight, there’s a 100% chance that somebody’s taking a nap,” and Johnson has the track record to back it up: None of his fights in the UFC have gone the distance. The Jeremy Horn protégé has slick submission skills to go along with his heavy hands. We know Johnson will bring a fast-paced, exciting style into the Octagon, and his opponent Mike Swick will almost certainly do the same.

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Watch the ‘UFC on FOX: Shogun vs. Vera’ Press Conference Right Here Starting at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT

UFC president Dana White and the four headliners for Saturday’s UFC on FOX 4 event — Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Brandon Vera, Lyoto Machida, and Ryan Bader — will be in attendance today for the “Shogun vs. Vera” press conference in Los Angeles; you can watch it live in the player after the jump beginning at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT. We expect each man to make a perfectly logical and well-reasoned argument why he should be the next light-heavyweight title-contender. Personally, I think Jon Jones should just go down the row elbowing each fighter in the nose at full strength, and the last guy to start crying earns the shot. But what do I know — I’m just an unappreciated promotional visionary.

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9 Olympic Occurences More Likely to Happen Than Brandon Vera Beating Shogun Rua


(If you must ask, Dana, I believe my hype train was headed in that general direction. Then again, it’s been so long since I’ve seen it…) 

If you’re anything like us, you’ve more than likely spent your weekend drinking either Budweiser or Miller High Life cans in front of your television whilst watching various Olympic events and screaming “America!” on loop until your Canadian or Russian neighbors got jealous and called the police, who in turn tried to claim that you are somehow at fault if you like to watch TV in the nude and can’t afford curtains. And indeed, the Olympics have successfully managed to captivate and connect its viewing audience as it always does, uniting entire communities over a common passion. Except, oddly enough, in the case of this year’s host country, wherein failure apparently opens you up to disturbingly hateful critiques from your own countrymen.

Switching gears, it seems that one thing we can all agree on, regardless of our cultural divisions, is the inherent ridiculousness in the possibility that Brandon Vera could somehow receive a title shot if he is able to defeat Mauricio Rua in impressive fashion, or vice versa. We know we’ve been a little hard on him today – it’s not like it was his decision to overhype a fight by implying title implications only to be reamed out by fans for doing so shortly thereafter, that was Dana White — but on the short list of contenders currently in the Light Heavyweight Division, Vera is just a step above Mostapha al-Turk, whom you may recall is a retired heavyweight who was released from the UFC over two years ago. And he’s fighting Shogun f*cking Rua, aka the man who ended The Machida Era. Arguably twice. 

Spoiler: There is no way in hell that Vera is beating Shogun this Saturday, and we’d be willing to wager a bottle of ipecac on it, if you know what we mean. So in honor of what has been a highly competitive Olympic games thus far, and what will surely be a one sided ass whooping at UFC on FOX 4, here are 10 things, ranked in no particular order, we will more than likely see happen at this year’s Olympics than “The Truth” beating “Shogun” on Saturday.

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Brandon Vera Actually Cares About “Shogun” Rua Fight, Says Jon Jones Isn’t “Some Young Punk” Anymore…wait, WHAT?!


And yet he STILL hasn’t learned that only tools wear Affliction…

We’re just a few days away from UFC on FOX 4, which will be headlined by arguably the most confusing contender fight in modern UFC history. While most fans can kind of justify Shogun earning a title shot with a victory given his track record (especially if Hendo manages to put away Jones at UFC 151), Brandon Vera remains a gigantic question mark. With his most notable victory being a TKO over heavyweight Frank Mir back in 2006, it’s hardly a surprise that most fans and pundits are completely unable to make sense of this bout even headlining the card, yet alone being for a title shot.

If Brandon Vera attempted to justify all of this through his appearance on “Inside MMA,” he ended up just raising even more questions. Case in point: Vera talked about his training camp leading up to his bout with “Shogun” Rua. Aside from bringing back his Muay Thai coaches and sparring with Alexander Gustafsson, Vera commented that he was ”doing the things he should have been doing since day one.” Specifically, he’s actually caring now about his career. As he told the “Inside MMA” crew:

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Even Jon Jones Can’t Make Sense of the Current Title Picture at 205

It’s good to know that we weren’t alone in our confusion when it was announced that the winner of either the Mauricio Rua/Brandon Vera or Lyoto Machida/Ryan Bader bouts, specifically the former, would be in line for the next title shot at 205 lbs. Given that current champion Jon Jones has walked through all four of those gentlemen before, we struggled to find the reasoning behind the alleged title shot that supposedly awaited the most impressive winner from this weekend’s UFC on FOX 4 event. Then again, Rich Franklin has decided to chase after middleweight gold and revenge for a third time (which totally wont end in his untimely death), so maybe we were too quick to write off these former champions, TUF winners, and hype machines. In either case, Bones took to his Twitter account to voice his frustration, sending out the above tweet yesterday which simply states “Scratching my head.”

But perhaps even more confounding than the UFC’s apparent apathy in regards to JBJ was the realization that the light heavyweight division, one of the most stacked and competitive divisions in the UFC for some time, has nearly been cleared out in a little over a year. If Jones gets past Dan Henderson at UFC 151, something he obviously feels he is going to do as evidenced by the above tweet, there will arguably be only two viable candidates left for him to face: Alexander Gustafsson and Glover Teixeira.

Dana White has teased that the man known by the Potato Nation as “Bjones” is “ready for a big fight now”, leading us to believe that a meeting with Rashad Evans could be on the horizon. A victory over the former champ would all but cement the Swede’s position atop the division. As for Teixeira, it’s simply too early to tell. He looked great in his debut victory over Kyle Kingsbury, but needs to face at least one of the upper echelon fighters before we are convinced he is ready for a title shot. But for the moment, it appears that the LHW division needs an H-bomb like Nick Diaz needs a clue.

In other, alcohol-related Jon Jones news…

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‘Shogun vs. Vera: Road to the Octagon’ — Full UFC on FOX 4 Preview Video


(Props: SUPAFIGHTLEAGUE)

They brought me into this fight as a fish for Shogun to eat.”

So said Brandon Vera during yesterday’s hour-long “UFC’s Road to the Octagon” special on FOX, which previewed next weekend’s UFC on FOX: Shogun vs. Vera card in Los Angeles. Vera is well aware that few people are giving him a chance in the night’s headliner — especially considering that he hasn’t had an impressive victory in over three years — but the opportunity to fight Shogun and return to elite-fighter status has given him new motivation for training.

As you can imagine, Shogun has no interest in becoming the co-star in Vera’s Cinderella story. “I’m not going to be the one to bring Brandon Vera back,” he says. And if Rua wins, he’ll likely get another shot at the light-heavyweight belt, where he’d either fight a guy who already crushed him, or a guy who beat him up for the majority of a five-round war. I know, don’t get us started.

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WTF?! of the Day: Shogun Rua to Receive a Title Shot With a Win Over Brandon Vera?


(In order to cut company expenditures, the UFC recently fired Joe Silva in favor of the new, cost-efficient method of matchmaking seen above.) 

If you are the type of person who is quick to pick up on patterns, you may have noticed that more than a couple of our articles today have featured a headline ending in either the cynical question mark or even the full-on flabbergasted question mark followed by an exclamation point. And indeed, everything from Frank Mir’s temporary descent into the Strikeforce ranks to the idea that a Los Angeles hockey team did something worth writing about has left us nearly speechless. But this one tops them all, Potato Nation.

According to a recent interview that FOX Sports conducted with Dana White, if Mauricio “Shogun” Rua manages to defeat Brandon Vera impressively at UFC on FOX 4, he will have earned a title shot against the very same man that took his title, Jon Jones.

Wait, WHAT?!

Besides the fact that Shogun was, at the risk of receiving even more hate mail than usual, owned by Jones at UFC 128, the man has gone win-loss in his past six fights for Christ’s sake. Can we at least let him collect two wins in a row before we declare him the top contender in the division? And the last we checked, it isn’t 2006 anymore, so how a win over Vera justifies a title shot is simply beyond any measure of sound reasoning that we could possibly offer you. Is this just a ploy by The Baldfather to try and hype the hype-less card that is UFC on FOX 4, or is the UFC’s matchmaking department on a permanent lunch break? As if the Mendes/McKenzie pairing wasn’t odd enough, now this nonsense happens.

And if you think that was the only baffling decision made by the UFC that we’re going to cover in this article, join us after the jump for an equally ridiculous potential matchup at 205 lbs.

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Quote of the Day: Shogun Rua Would “Rather Be Cut” Than Fight Glover Teixeira


(Shogun, seen here at his all-time favorite vacation getaway.) 

Not many of us could make sense of how Mauricio Rua wound up paired against Brandon Vera for the main event of UFC on FOX 4, especially when considering that a fighter of equal to greater relevance in Glover Teixeira had been favored as a replacement against Rua in Thiago Silva’s absence. “The Truth” has not fought since eeking out a decision victory over the now retired Elliot Marshall in October of 2011, and hasn’t looked like his aggressive, take no prisoners self since UFC 65. Teixeira, on the other hand, is on a 16 fight win streak, and although he is of lesser name value, would surely make for a better fight against Rua in our opinion.

Dana White initially reported that when offered the fight, Shogun’s camp wanted “nothing to do with” Teixeira, a claim that was almost instantly rebuked by Shogun’s camp. Oddly enough, after his camp rebuked such a claim, they immediately accepted a match against Vera, leading one to believe that maybe DW wasn’t bullshitting us as he’s been accused of doing before.

Well during the UFC on FX 3 post fight press conference, White divulged into the “he said/she said” speculation a little further, stating that Shogun was so against fighting Teixeira that he was willing to be cut before taking a fight with him.

A full video of the interview and transcription await you after the jump. 

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And Now Michael Bisping Is Injured: UFC 149 Sets Up Lombard vs. Boetsch, UFC on FOX 4 Adds Shogun vs. Vera Headliner

Man, this ain’t even funny anymore. After a brutal two-week period that saw the injury withdrawals of Vitor Belfort, Chad Griggs, Thiago Silva, Jon Fitch, Thiago Alves, and Brian Stann (as well as supporting players like Pablo Garza and Edwin Figueroa), news broke late last night that UFC middleweight star Michael Bisping is out of his meeting with Tim Boetsch at UFC 149 (July 21st, Calgary) due to an undisclosed injury.

Boetsch will remain on the “Aldo vs. Koch” main card against Hector Lombard, who was scheduled to make his Octagon debut at UFC on FOX 4 two weeks later until Brian Stann pulled out with a dinged shoulder. Lombard vs. Boetsch should be a hell of a brawl — unless losing two weeks of preparation throws the former Bellator champ off his game. Who ya got on that one?

With Lombard off of the UFC on FOX 4 lineup, the August 4th event has picked up a brand new main event…

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