After an injury forced Antonio Rogerio Nogueira out of a planned UFC 109 bout with Brandon Vera, rather than book a new opponent for that night for Vera, the UFC appears to have gone in a different direction. They are instead targeting a match up pitting Vera against Jon Jones in a likely headlining fight at the yet unannounced Ultimate Fight Night 21, according to a message posted on Vera’s Twitter, which has since been deleted due to the fact that the UFC has not officially announced the contest.
UFN 21 is expected to take place on March 31 and serve as the lead in to season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter featuring coaches Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell.
Vera was last in action in a close, and somewhat controversial loss to Randy Couture at UFC 105 in November. Prior to the loss to Couture, Vera had won back to back fights defeating Mike Patt via TKO at UFC 96, and decisioning Krzysztof Soszynski at UFC 102 in August.
Jones was last in action at the finale of season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter where he put on a dominating performance against Matt Hamill, only to be disqualified after the bout was halted following illegal elbows from Jones, a decision Jones has appealed. Prior to the loss to Hamill Jones had been undefeated in his MMA career, including UFC wins over Andre Gusmao, Stephan Bonnar, and Jake O’Brien.