UFC on Fox 4: Shogun vs. Vera

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So here we go with another UFC on FOX event with surprising implications: winner of the main event gets a LHW title shot. Yes, you've read that right. Dana White has said that the winner, even if it is Bradon Vera, gets a title shot. Oh lord. A guy that 2 fights ago was cut for consecutive losses and already got his orbital smashed to bits by Jones and a guy that lost to Hendo and got brutally destroyed by Jones. Great matchmaking there guys :rolleyes:


Onto the card.

Preliminary Card:

John Moraga (9-1) vs.Ulysses Gomez (9-2) - 2 new hires for the FLW division. Moraga fights mainly in Rage in the Cage; Gomez hails from Tachi Palace fights. Flyweight fights almost always deliver non-stop action so this fight should be fun.

Manny Gamburyan (11-7) vs. Michihiro Omigawa (13-11-1) - Gamburyan, who once fought for the title on the back of a couple of decisive wins, finds himself on a 3 fight losing streak. He needs a win badly. Facing him is notorious dud, Michihiro Omigawa, a guy that came back into the UFC as a reported FW title threat and then proceded to go 1-3 in his last four and 1-5 overall in the UFC. He's also in desperate need of a win but he's on better footing than Gamburyan now that the UFC has a card in Macau.

Philip De Fries (8-1) vs. Oli Thompson (9-3) - De Fries got cracked up by Stipe Mio?i? in his last fight. Thompson got the same treatment, courtesy of Shawn Jordan. Both guys are lumbering UK HW fighters but De Fries has the technical advantage on the ground.

Josh Grispi (14-3) vs. Rani Yahya (16-7) - Grispi's nickname is the Fluke and it now seems pretty accurate. He was going to fight Aldo for the title with a 14-1 record and then ran into, at the time, unkwnon Dustin Poirier and lost. He then fought punching bag George Roop... and lost, forever ending any title dreams that he may have had. Yahya is a pretty good fighter, despite what his record shows. His loses are to guys like Benavidez and Mendes, who were clearly in the Top 3 of their divisions when they fought. It's a much tougher fight than his original opponent, Pablo Garza, and Grispi really needs a win. He better come prepared.

Phil Davis (9-1) vs. Wagner Prado (8-0) - From headlining a FOX event to fighting in the prelims, Phil Davis took quite a tumble with his loss to Evans. The UFC gave him an accessible fight: Prado is a wrecking machine, 8-0 with all KO's, but because he always fought in Brasil, he probably never faced a top wrestler like Davis. Davis just has to play to his strenghts and not try to punch the guy out.

Cole Miller (18-6) vs. Nam Phan (17-10) - Nam Phan is a dumbass and I hope he loses badly.

Main Card:

DaMarques Johnson (15-10) vs. Mike Swick (14-4) - This fight got bumped up to the main card after Ben Rothwell pulled out due to injury. It's a shame because Rothwell vs Browne was going to be one of the most interesting fights on this card. Swick hasn't fought in 2 years and has been plagued by multiple injuries. If DaMarques doesn't do anything stupid, he will probably get an easy win.

Joe Lauzon (21-7) vs. Jamie Varner (20-6-1) - Lauzon, the Spoiler, is deployed to try and stop a surging out of nowhere Jamie Varner. This fight is make or break for Varner's title aspirations. Lauzon isn't going to fight for the title but he's consistent, serving as a litmus test for the top of the LW division. If Varner wins, he gets thrown in the mix, taking the standing of Edson Barboza who he KO'ed in his previous fight.

Ryan Bader (14-2) vs. Lyoto Machida (17-3) - Seeing how the winner of this card gets a title shot, this is probably for next in line status (after Rampage fights Glover Teixeira). Bader has begun to build himself back up with 2 wins and now faces a tougher test in Machida. His wrestling is solid, he has power in his hands, but will that be enough for the karate that gave Bones a bit of trouble in the first round? We'll have to wait and see. Machida is on a must win path to remain relevant in a division he once ruled.

Mauricio Rua (20-6) vs. Brandon Vera (14-5) - Why, oh why, is the winner of this getting a title shot? The LHW continues it's streak of poor matchmaking (Rampage and Machida before Evans) with this. Vera was cut just 2 fights ago, getting absolutely destroyed by Thiago Silva. His only win his a lukewarm decision to Eliot Marshall, who got cut after that loss. Rua, on the other hand, smashed a tired and bored Forrest, lost a tough fight to Hendo (who's on a way better streak and fighting for the belt) and now just has to smash Vera in order to get raped by Jones again? Good lord, and all that after refusing a fight with Glover Teixeira, a guy who has his limitations but could probably tangle with Rua. Oh well, it's clear that Rua has the advantage here. If his knees didn't crap out after the Hendo fight, Vera is getting himself into a world of hurt.

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love the shirt dana ;)

The Body Issue pictures were something special. Much better than the Cyborg (now ex-)couple the preceded them.

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Still haven't been able to see the prelims (nobody "watches" Fuel TV as the PPV prelims are on FX), but the main card delivered. FOX & UFC must be pleased and I'm pretty sure everyone got nice bonuses.

DaMarques Johnson (15-10) vs. Mike Swick (14-4) - DaMarques gameplan seemed to be "go out there, stand and bang". To do this against a guy who is known for his punching prowess, 2 years layoff or not, is a pretty stupid plan. And he paid the price. The finish was brutal, slam and then POW! Right in the kisser. He went limp after the first punch. Swick isn't going to make a run anywhere, especially not in WW shark tank, but he can provide some very entertaining fights. I'm thinking Matt "The Immortal" Brown would be a good matchup for him. Or maybe a match with Matt Riddle, since Hardy is fighting Sadolah.

Joe Lauzon (21-7) vs. Jamie Varner (20-6-1) - Lauzon does it again. And what a great fight it was. Lauzon held his own on the feet and plied his trade when the fight hit the ground. That triangle catch was pretty slick. Varner did look very good, even in defeat, and should get another interesting fight. Lauzon will yet again try to move up in competition, perhaps Clay Guida? Let's see if he can make it count this time and finally get a winning streak going.

Ryan Bader (14-2) vs. Lyoto Machida (17-3) - Machida won. What a surprise. Bader was just too plodding to beat him. He has a big right hand, sure, but no kicks. Machida remains a very tough opponent, a guy that, like I said, gave Bones some trouble for a round. Still, I don't think he should get a title shot. He wasn't worthy the first time, he isn't worthy this time. Wait to see how Rampage vs Glover pans out, and/or have him fight Paulo Thiago. He hasn't improved enough, or at least not at the same level as Bones, to be a real contender.

Mauricio Rua (20-6) vs. Brandon Vera (14-5) - Shogun is done, make no mistake about it. His mind is still sharp but his body just isn't capable anymore. A fit Shogun would've put Vera away in the first round. Vera did look very game and finally showed his skills. He endured some good shots and fired back some of his own. Like Varner, he looked good even in defeat and will stick around in the UFC. As for Shogun, if he insists on fighting, Gustafson seems like the likely choice, seeing how he is without a dance partner and needs to boost his profile for a future title shot. That or Lil' Nog who hasn't fought in almost a year. Comedy options, aka Strikeforce Matchmaking, Ryan Bader.

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I still think Machida has the best style to beat Jones if anyone. But still, Jones is tough to beat with the wing span he is built with.

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