2012 has been a rough year for Joe Silva, the man responsible for match making in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. With injuries to top fighters occurring at almost a weekly basis, the UFC is constantly changing and scrambling their cards. Moving fights to different cards, finding worthy opponents for main events and trying to keep fight fans happy enough to keep ordering pay per view events is no easy task. However, though it all, there is one silver lining to the injury riddled year they are having, and that is the opportunity fighters are getting. Some up and comers are getting a chance to prove they belong at the top of their division. Such is the case for Renan Barao. A showdown between rivals and TUF coaches Urijah Faber and Dominic Cruz was to happen until Cruz injured his knee. Then Barao got the call to face Faber for the interim Bantam Weight championship. That fight will take place July 21st in Calgary.
On the other hand, opportunities are also given to fighters who are seemingly past their prime. One such competitor that fits this bill would be Filipino fighter, Brandon “The Truth” Vera. An injury to Thiago Silva, left an opening for a match with former Light Heavyweight Champion, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
After denying a fight with the very dangerous, yet relatively unknown, Glover Teixeria, Shogun agreed to face Vera in the main event for UFC on Fox 4, August 4.
Brandon Vera made a huge splash when he first entered the UFC in 2005. As a heavyweight, he sliced through his completion. Noted as being one of the best Muay Thai kick boxers in all of MMA and combining that with slick jiu jitsu and a college background in Greco-Roman wrestling, Vera was a force to be reckoned with.
Then contract disputes with his management and the UFC put him on the sidelines for over a year. Once he returned, he was a shell of his former self. Two losses at heavyweight convinced Vera to move down to his natural weight and compete at 205 pounds. As a light heavyweight his record is 4-3 with one no contest. Wins have come as lack luster decisions, save for his destruction of Mike Patt. As for his losses; close decisions to Keith Jardine and legend Randy Couture as well as a first round TKO to current champion, Jon Jones.
In Shogun Rua, Vera faces a man who is dangerous, yet just as inconsistent. Though when Rua is on his game, few men are able to stop him. The ever charismatic Filipino Fighter is sure to have his hands full, but this is still an opportunity to crack the top five in the UFC’s light heavy weight division. Brandon Vera has always had the tools to be one of the best in MMA, but will he make the most of his chance? Well have to wait until August 4 to find out the truth.