It's hard to question the validity of a fighter who's only lost once in his career (of course we'll see about that when Bisping finally faces some top 10 competition.) But i think you nailed it on the head with Vera.
Especially with the emergeance of pacquio in the phillipines and Dana White wanting to steal some of that market share. I think of guys like Werdum who got cut after one loss and then i see Vera getting signed to a contract extension after three garbage fights and i think... WTF??
The only answer to that is Dana needs a hometown hero to lure the filipino fans into the sport, if the UFC weren't looking to expand into the Phillipines would Vera still be around?? I can't say for sure, but I HOPE NOT