Hold onto your hats ... a pivotal Light Heavyweight showdown with major divisional ramifications on the line has been booked to headline a major mixed martial arts (MMA) event on national television:
The fight, scheduled to take place on Sat., Aug. 4, 2012, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif., was announced by the promotion a short while ago.
The new main event on August 4 will be a five-round light heavyweight battle between two of the best Muay Thai strikers in the game, Brandon Vera and former champion Shogun Rua. Rua is riding the momentum of the fight of the century against Dan Henderson, while Vera is back in the win column and looking to make a statement after being sidelined earlier this year due to injury himself.
Rua is being plucked from the UFC 149 card in Calgary, where he was set to face Thiago Silva until Silva suffered an injury. Vera, meanwhile, was training for a bout with James Te Huna at the July FUEL TV event. A new opponent for Te Huna is expected to be named shortly.
Well, this one certainly sounds like it will reignite one of those west coast wild fires.
"Shogun" was in the midst of a public relations nightmare before this announcement, having been outed by UFC President Dana White after turning down a fight against Glover Teixeira after his originally scheduled opponent at UFC 149, Thiago Silva, bowed out due to injury.
It's a moot point now, of course, with the Brazilian getting his next dance date pushed back a few weeks back. He'll head back to the scene where he was robbed of a championship against Lyoto Machida back at UFC 104 in Oct. 2009.
But his opponent isn't nearly as deadly.
That's not to say Vera doesn't pose problems that could prove to be significant but there's a fairly large gap in rankings between the two. And by fairly large, I mean "Shogun" is the number four ranked light heavyweight in the world. Vera? He comes in at number 21.
But hey, that's one better than Teixeira.
Any of you Maniacs excited for this new main event on FOX? Or are you shaking your heads with a better idea in mind? If so, let's hear it, folks.
With Shogun vs. Vera headlining, of course. Somehow.
For all the latest news and notes on the Octagon's return to the "City of Angles" click here.