Rua vs. Vera for No. 1 contender

Updated: July 31, 2012, 3:09 AM ET
By Brett Okamoto | ESPN.com

The next No. 1 light heavyweight contender in the UFC will be determined Saturday.

UFC president Dana White confirmed on Monday the winner of this weekend's UFC on Fox main event between Mauricio Rua and Brandon Vera will be next in line to challenge for the 205-pound belt.

Current champion Jon Jones is scheduled for a fourth title defense against Dan Henderson at UFC 151 in September. Should he win, it would set up a rematch of a prior fight, as he already holds past victories over both Rua and Vera.

White said he has not spoken to Jones on the possibility of accepting a rematch, but stated dominant fighters, as the 25-year-old has been, are typically forced into them.

"Nope, I have not (talked to him)," White said. "When you're the top guy and keep beating people, you might see another guy coming your way you already beat. It is what it is. Its part of the business."

The news came as a surprise to some, as neither Rua nor Vera will enter Saturday riding a win streak.

Rua (20-6) hasn't fought since dropping a five-round decision to Henderson last November. The former champ lost to Jones in his first title defense via a third round TKO in March 2011.

"Shogun Rua just came off the fight of the year last year," White said. "He's been one of the greatest fighters in the last decade. This guy knocked out (Quinton Jackson), knocked out Chuck Liddell, knocked out Mark Coleman, knocked out Lyoto Machida -- he's probably the No. 2 guy in the world."

Vera (12-5), although coming off a win, has been less impressive, dropping three of his last four contests. A unanimous decision loss to Thiago Silva in January 2011 was overturned to a no-contest when Silva produced fake urine at his drug test.

The 34-year-old was initially cut from the UFC following that loss, but made good on a second chance with a unanimous decision win over Elliot Marshall at UFC 137. Vera has spoke often on wanting a rematch with Jones. He lost to the now-champ in the first round via TKO in March 2010.

"Dana throwing (the title announcement) out there," Vera said. "This is almost like winning the lottery twice.

"The first time I fought Jon Jones I thought he was some young punk. I didn't respect him at all. I didnt even train hard. If and when I get the chance to fight Mr. Jones again, I promise he will have my full and undivided attention."

In addition to the news on the main event, White stated it would not matter if one of the light heavyweights in the co-main event -- Machida and Ryan Bader -- won in spectacular fashion. The next title shot would still go to either Rua or Vera.