Photo by Esther Lin for SBNation
In case there's any confusion, knocking your opponent out in fantastic fashion is much more impressive than spending four sloppy rounds sucking wind.
Going into UFC on Fox 4, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White established the great light heavyweight title raffle announcing whoever put on the most "impressive" performance would secure the next 205-pound title shot against either Jon Jones or Dan Henderson.
Now that the event has come and gone, the winner of the UFC 151 main event will have a date with the former champion.
That's what really sealed the deal for "The Dragon."
The Brazilian did exactly what he does best in the co-main event in eluding Bader's strikes while landing his own. The last of which was his picture perfect counter punch that caught "Darth" right on the jaw and turned his lights off.
"Shogun," on the other hand, engaged in a fun -- albeit sloppy -- four round war with "The Truth" in a fight many felt the 2005 PRIDE Fighting Championships grand prix winner would win easily. Vera proved he has heart to spare and withstood all punishment Rua dished out until finally caving in in the fourth round.
Unfortunately, it also told fans a lot of "Shogun." It was yet another example of Rua's questionable conditioning which has plagued him since he first came to the UFC. It caused him to lose to Forrest Griffin and led to spirited but technique free performances against Dan Henderson at UFC 139 and again tonight.
While Rua won his bout against Vera, he lost out on a title shot.
Machida will step in now and either rematch Jones or take on "Hendo" in a fresh bout. Even though the Brazilian is 2-3 in his last five fights, he sports an overall 10-3 UFC record and is a former champion.
A bout with Henderson is exciting for obvious reasons and even though he was choked unconscious by "Bones" just last December, a rematch with "The Dragon" could do two things. One, it would secure one notch on Jones' belt and help further establish him as the sport's greatest 205-pound fighter. And two, it would show if Machida learned anything from his UFC 140 bout which he can use to upset the Greg Jackson fighter.
This also solves the problem of what to do with Alexander Gustafsson. Rua can take on the Swede allowing the young fighter a chance to tangle with a legitimate top five fighter with the winner getting the next crack at the title.
Overall, the light heavyweight title picture is a bit more clear now.