So it has come to this - UFC title shots will be determined by semantics. Whatever Dana White deems the term "most impressive" means will decide the fate of many men in the UFC's light heavyweight division. White first stated that the winner of Saturday's UFC on Fox main event between Shogun Rua and Brandon Vera would earn the next shot at the UFC light heavyweight title. Then, after justifiable outrage over Vera having a chance (however slim) at earning a title shot, White flip flopped and said that the "most impressive" performer out of Rua-Vera and Saturday's co-main event, Lyoto Machida vs Ryan Bader, would earn the shot. Out of the frying pan and into the fire, Dana.
What exactly does "most impressive" mean, Mr. White? If Vera beats Shogun, that is "more impressive" in my eyes than whoever wins Machida-Bader. If Bader beats Machida, I feel that is more impressive than Shogun beating Vera. If Machida and Shogun both win, I think Machida beating Bader is far more impressive than Shogun beating Vera. Basically, Dana has opened up a big can of worms here. No matter who wins or how, White will be criticized for who he gives the title shot to. There is no right, clear cut answer to the "#1 contender" question when the only criteria for getting a title shot is who is "most impressive". There is no way he can win here now that he has opened his mouth.
And the most annoying part to all of this is White didn't even need to say anything to begin with. He never needed to make Rua vs Vera a "#1 contender match". And he didn't have to make matters even worse by reversing course and invoking the "most impressive" stipulation. Jon Jones already has a challenger for his title in Dan Henderson, and that fight is still a month off. Dan Henderson already has "next". Why the rush to solidify who has next after next? But all this is probably much ado about nothing, as a wise friend of mine commented to me today, White is probably just going to change his mind again, anyways.
Geesh Dana, total fail no matter how you look at it. So the best knockout gets Jones next? Whomever wins the best fight for entertainment this weekend? Doesn't matter, Dana will change his mind before whomever fights Jones anyways. As if it even matters anyways... Jones will destroy all these pretenders.