White listens to fans, Bader vs. Machida winner could get title shot too

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

During a UFC on FOX 4 call held yesterday, the light heavyweight title path was laid out by UFC President Dana White. The winner of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Brandon Vera would fight the winner of Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson, for the UFC light-heavyweight title.

He later told USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com that co-headliners Ryan Bader and Lyoto Machida also will have that opportunity.

“Whoever wins the most impressively on Saturday night gets the shot at the title,” White said.

White’s decision comes after a rash of fan backlash following his original announcement. UFC’s social-media-savvy fanbase immediately took to Twitter to protest the decision while citing Rua’s recent losses to both current champion Jon Jones and the champ’s UFC 151 opponent, Dan Henderson – as well as Vera’s current run of just one win in four appearances – as reasons why the bout did not deserve to be considered a No. 1 contender’s contest.

White said he listened to the complaints, and he’s making a change.

“I put together the fights that fans want to see,” White said. “The fans didn’t like the Rua and Vera choice, so here it is: The guy that wins most impressively on Saturday night out of the co-main event and the main event will get the shot at the winner of Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson.”

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