Shogun Rua is one of the greatest light heavyweights ever; however, he was outclassed by Jon Jones in his light heavyweight title bout at UFC 128. The young man wrangled the belt from the veteran in a dominant effort.
Shogun believes he can regain the UFC light heavyweight belt. He’s confident in that fact. Rua says he’ll have a better strategy this time.
“That’s the fight I want. I want my title back. I think he is much easier to study Jon Jones now… last time the guy was a brand new style in the UFC. Now we’ve seen him fight other guys and have more information what he’s going to do in the Octagon. I am working towards beating him in a rematch.”
Shogun certainly has an opportunity to fight Jones again if he wins his next fight. UFC on Fox 4 showcases the top of the light heavyweight division. UFC president, Dana White has said the next challenger will hail from the card.
Shogun will fight Brandon Vera in the main event while Lyoto Machida will face Ryan Bader.
“These fighters have a huge opportunity to show the world why they deserve to fight for the UFC title next,” White explained to FOXSports. “Winning isn’t enough at UFC on FOX. This division is so competitive these fighters have to look great to separate themselves from the pack.
“I’m expecting all of these guys to go all-out to prove why they should be next in line for a title shot.”
Translation: Whoever wins most impressively will garner a title shot, unless your name is Brandon Vera. Vera is the least relevant of the light heavyweight competitors. It would be a huge upset if Vera defeats Shogun. He still won’t sniff a title bout anytime soon.
White’s words are interesting. I like incentive based situations; they usually bring out the best in all of us. Bader won’t be looking to lie on top of Machida for three rounds. He’ll look to finish the fight, perhaps through ground and pound.
None of the fighters will take a conservative approach. That’s what fans like to see.
It is compelling to see these two matches because, whoever receives a title shot against Jones, it will be a grudge match.
Jones defeated Bader to get the title shot against Shogun. Both were dominant victories for Jones. There was no silver lining for either competitor. Both are also confident that they will be champion.
I don’t know how to muster such belief in the face of unlikely odds but I do respect that mentality. There is no evidence that either rematch would result any differently.
Vera fared even worse against Jones. It barely deserves mention though because Vera is not a top level fighter at this point.
Machida made Jones stumble but didn’t put him in serious trouble.
Neither of the three fighters at UFC on Fox should scare Jones as much as Dan Henderson should.
Either way, some good fights are coming at UFC on Fox 4.