Brandon “The Truth” Vera takes on Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Saturday August 4th, for UFC on Fox. Should either fighter win in impressive fashion, they could find themselves in a rematch with current light heavyweight titleholder Jon Jones. MMA oddsmakers have Mauricio Rua as -380 moneyline favorite to beat Brandon Vera who is listed as +290 underdog. Be sure to get your UFC on Fox: Mauricio Rua vs Brandon Vera predictions in before the first punch is thrown.
Brandon “The Truth” Vera (12-5, 1 NC) hasn’t won against a highly-ranked opponent since he faced Frank Mir in November 2006. Vera has been grounded in four of his five career losses and was also taken down in a lopsided fight against Thiago Silva that was eventually declared a no-contest.
But, the once-promising fighter still has a well-rounded skill set and reach that can cause problems for many light heavyweights.
While it would be a terrible option for most 205-pound fighters, Vera’s best chance to mount an upset against Rua would be to engage in a battle of leg kicks. The Brazilian may have more power in his kicks, but Vera can strike from slightly greater distance and could potentially out-land Rua if he turns the matchup into a point fighting bout.
If Vera doesn’t fully utilize his reach advantage, he’s either going to find himself being beaten up on the ground or in Rua’s dangerous clinch.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (20-6) has only beaten Forrest Griffin in his two fights since losing the light heavyweight title to Jones in March, 2011. Right now, “Shogun” is still far from deserving a rematch with Jones, who completely dominated the Brazilian en route to a third-round stoppage.
In his most recent appearance, Rua engaged in one of the most entering fights in MMA history against Henderson. The back-and-forth war ended in a controversial win for Henderson, which had many hoping for a rematch.
With knockout wins against the likes of Alistair Overeem, Chuck Liddell, Lyoto Machida and Forrest Griffin, it’s understandable that Rua is mostly recognized as a striker. However, his easiest route to victory against Vera may be through taking the fight to the ground.
Rua may not be one of the best wrestlers in the 205-pound division. However, considering he was able to take Dan Henderson down five times in his most recent fight, Rua should be able to accomplish what the likes of Thiago Silva and Keith Jardine were able to against Vera.
This is not to say Rua can’t dominate Vera on his feet, though. The Brazilian is a heavy favorite for good reason and is capable of beating Vera anywhere. Rua can increase his odds of winning, though, by taking the fight to the ground and utilizing his black belt-level jiu-jitsu to negate Vera’s active guard.
The Bottom Line: Rua is a more skilled fighter than Vera in all areas and has proven himself as elite against top competition fight after fight. Vera, meanwhile, has been incredibly inconsistent, having gone years without a significant victory. Want to dominate the books this season with some of the best MMA Picks experts in the business? Then sign up right now and get MMA Picks Free!
UFC on Fox: Mauricio Rua vs. Brandon Vera
When: Saturday, August 4th@8:00 PM ET
Pick: Rua -380
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