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.
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.
Apparently attempting to soften the blow of such a ridiculous statement by following it up with an equally insane one, White also stated that, were Shogun to lose (or win in unimpressive fashion), then the winner of the Machida/Bader fight would receive the next title shot.
I now know what Bill Murray’s character felt like in Groundhog Day, because I am either reliving the same dream over and over again, or the UFC matchmakers have seemingly forgotten that Lyoto Machida was just choked unconscious by Jones at UFC 140, or that Bader was taken to lunch by Jones at UFC 126. What I’m saying is…
Now, whereas one could possibly see how Bader has earned a shot if he gets past Machida — he will have knocked off two straight ex-champions in as many fights — he also outgrappled an overweight and apathetic Rampage Jackson in one of those wins. And unless Machida is able to defeat Bader by flying crescent Shaolin monk kick, it will be hard to understand why he’s earned another shot so quickly. Meanwhile, Alexander Gustafsson has put together a five fight win streak (and not to mention, hasn’t already faced Jones and lost in dramatic fashion before) and wasn’t so much as mentioned in the list of potential contenders.
Granted, Jones has yet to defeat Dan Henderson, but if he does, is this really where the UFC wants their champion to go from here? Essentially, Jones will be returning to the scene of a rape to give one of his victims another go-around on the off chance that they still wont identify him this time. While we’re at it, why not give Travis Lutter another shot at Anderson Silva?
It may sound a bit dramatic, but if Jones beats Hendo at UFC 150, we will officially have crossed over into some alternate universe where Eric Koch is the most deserving fighter currently receiving a title shot, outside of the interim champs at bantamweight and welterweight. Think about that for a second.