(Machida still has his eyes on that title shot)

August 4th brings us the UFC on FOX 4. It’s a pretty damn good card, and it being free ‘n all, the price is right. The highlights of the show are the main and co-main events, featuring three Top 10 light-heavyweights: Shogun Rua, Lyoto Machida, and Ryan Bader; and pulling up the rear by default is Brandon Vera.

At the press conference yesterday, Dana White said the winner of the Shogun/Vera fight would become the number one contender. That was a little befuddling to many of us, including the champ, Jon Jones, who tweeted, “Scratching my head.” You could scratch your head, your foot, and your balls and it wouldn’t make any more sense.

Now of course, when Dana says “number one contender” he doesn’t always mean number one contender. That declaration is oftentimes based on not just winning, but doing so in violent fashion.

If, by some freak occurrence, Shogun stubs his toe, trips into Vera’s knee and gets knocked out, Vera could very well get a title shot. Taking into account Vera’s track record at 205 that would be bullshit of the stankest order, but hey, Jones has damn near cleaned out the division in a very short time. So from here on out they’re going to have to get creative with picking challengers.

On the other hand, if the main event sucks a fat one, but the co-main event sees Bader knock Machida into next week, then he would likely get the shot. The point is that the whole “number one contender” announcement is to be taken with a grain of salt.

None of the hypotheticals really matter though. Jones has already obliterated all four guys. He broke Vera’s face – literally. He clowned Bader en route to a guillotine. He beat Shogun so bad he looked like a Gaza Strip bombing victim afterward. And he choked Machida unconscious, his lifeless body crumbling to the canvas as the hold was released.

Four opponents, four dominant victories. A rematch against any one of them is not an easy sell. They were simply not competitive against Jones. They could maybe push Bader, considering his loss occurred before Jones was the champ. Vera, eh, maybe, but only if he goes out there and destroys Shogun, which is about as likely as one of Arianny’s boobs popping out of her bikini. And God just isn’t that kind. Machida’s loss is a little too recent. Shogun has the name value that with a little creative marketing could possibly trick the masses into thinking it’s legit. Who knows?

If Jones defeats Dan Henderson in September then he’s a little short of clear-cut challengers. In times of desperation, the tough choices must be embraced.