UFC: What the Light Heavyweight Title Picture Should Have Looked Like

Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones after UFC 145
Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones after UFC 145Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Adam ReiterCorrespondent IIIJuly 31, 2012

Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Brandon Vera have won a combined two fights since June of 2010, but thanks to a shocking announcement by Dana White, one of them will have a light heavyweight title shot after their fight at UFC on Fox 4.

Both fighters were pulled from previously scheduled fights and put in the main event for Saturday's fight at the Staples Center.

The co-main event will pit Ryan Bader with the former champion Lyoto Machida. 

Matchmaker Joe Silva usually gets it right with his decisions, but he made several big mistakes, not only with the matches, but in making the Rua-Vera winner the No. 1 contender.

Rua may be a big name, but he's 1-2 in his last three fights. Vera is 4-3 since moving to light heavyweight, his biggest win coming against Krzysztof Soszynski in August of 2009. Neither of those scream out No. 1 contender.

Here's how this weekend, as well as the light heavyweight title picture should have looked:

1. Make the main event Shogun vs. Machida 3. Machida is a bigger name than Vera, and fans love trilogies.

2. Make the co-main event Bader vs. Vera. Both had high hopes and had flashes of brilliance before suffering setbacks, and both are once again trying to climb the ladder. 

3. Pit the Shogun-Machida winner against Alexander Gustafsson. Lost in all of this is the 25-year-old Swede who's 6-1 in the UFC, including five straight wins, including knockouts of Matt Hamill and Vladimir Matyushenko. He beat Thiago Silva, the same guy who beat Vera before failing a drug test, in April, and yet is somehow behind Vera in terms of getting a title shot? Does that make sense to anybody?

While this Saturday should be a fantastic night of fights, what follows it may not be so fantastic.

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