When asked on Friday whether or not “The Iceman” now represents a step down in competition, Vera answered bluntly during a Q&A session at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
“Yes,” said Vera, who was outspoken about his desire to pursue Liddell when he burst on the UFC scene in 2005. “I’m not lying. I would much rather fight somebody I’m supposed to lose to.”
“I’m asking for the number three spot,” Vera said. “I don’t give a damn who’s at number three. I can’t ask for number one, and I can’t ask for number two. That’s Machida and ‘Shogun.’ You’ve got to climb the ladder.”
His road first leads through Jon 'Bones' Jones, who was disqualified for the illegal elbow strikes he landed against Matt Hamill at “The Ultimate Fighter 10” Finale two months ago in Las Vegas.
“We’re going to see how hard his bones are,” Vera said. “I don’t want to look past Jones; I can’t. He’s a real dangerous fighter.”
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