Free Fights Continue to Impress (UFC on Fox 4 Review)

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Yet again the free fights on fox show the type of amazing talent that is in the UFC stable with impressive fights from start to finish. Every fight on the night was a close one with only one unanimous decision and one split decision as the rest were finish before the judges could weigh in. It was another night were the UFC made sure they would show up in front of a national audience. Dana White looked to make sure that the drama would be in full view as well when he stated that the winner of the main event on Fox, a light heavyweight fight between Brandon Vera and Mauricio Rua, would be the new #1 contender in the division. Many fans did not like this though as Twitter and Facebook lit up claiming that Vera was not worthy of a shot yet and Rua had just lost his title shot and didn’t deserve another so quickly. These points swayed the UFC president as he changed his mind and stated that the most impressive winner of either the Main event between Brandon Vera and Mauricio Rua or the co-main event between Lyoto Machida and Ryan Bader. This made both of the last events extremely important as winning was not enough for any of the fighters. Instead the fighters would need to win impressively either earning the decision after an amazing fight or ending the fight with a big KO or amazing submission. It would be a pressure packed night with four fighters earning the opportunity to fight for the title after Jon Jones and Dan Henderson face off in September. The first fight for fans would be the co-main event between Lyoto Machida and Ryan Bader. Machida is a karate style fighter who always lays back and waits for his opponent to come in before hitting them with a big counter shot. Bader is a converted wrestler who loves to stand and bang with anyone and has the ability to fight on the ground. The fight started as predicted with Machida leaning back and throwing just enough to try to get Bader to become more aggressive. The first round saw little in terms of action as Machida employed his usual strategy of waiting for the other fighter to come in and Bader was not obliging. The second round saw much of the same but this time Bader seemed to be more aggressive which ended up being his downfall. Bader came forward with a big right hand but Machida blocked it and threw a straight right that ended the fight. Bader went down immediately as Machida earned the second round KO as he did everything he could to impress Dana White. Machida went to the dressing room to await the decision while Bader lost another fight and continued his up and down career as he will likely drop to the bottom of the division and will need to work his way back up. With one fight down it was time for the main event to try to overshadow the co-main event as Mauricio Rua took on Brandon Vera. The fight began with both fighters looking for the KO immediately as both Vera and Rua began the first round throwing big kicks. The round ended with Rua in Vera’s guard but both fighters not doing all that much. The second round saw the KO attempt step up with both fighters throwing relentlessly and Vera taking the worst of it. It was a back and forth round as Vera and Rua both had their moments of throwing big shots with the fit seemingly over multiple times in the round. Round three was much of the same as Vera took the worst of the exchanges and Rua tiring out trying to finish the strong-willed Vera. As both fighters continued to exchange the fight continued to get better with both Vera and Rua taking advantages at different times. The fourth round was another big one as Rua and Vera continued their boxing match but this time Rua finally got the better of his opponent. Rua landed a big uppercut that dazed Vera while Rua jumped and continued throwing before the referee ended the fight. Rua won the fight which was one of the best of the night as he looked to be the winner of the #1 contender spot while Vera had his comeback fight cut short. After the match Dana White announced that in fact it was Lyoto Machida who had earned the title shot thanks to his big KO in round 2 of the co-main event fight. Machida will now await the winner of the September fight between Jon Jones and Dan Henderson while Mauricio Rua will likely be the next in line after Machida but will need to have at least one more fight to earn the spot.

The excitement was not reserved for the co-main event and the main event though as the other two main card fights were just as entertaining. In the first fight of the main card Mike Swick took on DaMarques Johnson. Swick was looking to make a comeback in the UFC after two straight losses had dropped him into the middle of the welterweight division among the big group of potential contenders. Meanwhile Johnson was looking to get back in the win column after a loss and a career in the UFC that has seen a lot of ups and downs. They both came out looking to win in the stand up game as anytime they went to the ground it did not last long. In round 2 the fight was finished almost immediately as Johnson threw a big kick that was caught by Swick who then put Johnson on his back and landed a big right hand that forced the referee to step in. With the win Swick began his comeback as he won impressively in his first fight since 2010. The next fight saw a similar story as Jamie Varner was looking to continue his comeback after beating Edson Barbosa earlier in the year, his first fight since 2010. In his way was Joe Lauzon who looked to recover from a small bump after a loss to Anthony Pettis. It was an amazing fight that went back and forth for three rounds as both fighters looked to end it from the start. It was a battle into the third round where eventually Lauzon came out on top with a great triangle choke that ended the fight.

The fight card was another great free set of fights and gave Dana White plenty to choose from for the $50,000 fight bonuses. There were a lot of fights to choose from but one fighter came out on top earning two bonuses on the night. The “Submission of the Night” went to Joe Lauzon who also earned the “Fight of the Night” bonus alongside Jamie Varner for their great bout that ended with a Triangle Choke. The “Knockout of the Night” was not much easier to decide but Mike Swick earned the bonus for his second round KO of DaMarques Johnson. The UFC will now go into a string of three Pay-per-View fights for titles as UFC on Fox served as a great warm-up to a great two month stretch.



Main Event:

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua def. Brandon “The Truth” Vera

(TKO, Rd. 4)


Main Card:

Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida def. Ryan “Darth” Bader

(KO, Rd. 2)


Joe “J-Lau” Lauzon def. Jamie Varner

(Submission; Triangle Choke, Rd. 3)


Mike “Quick” Swick def. DaMarques “Darkness” Johnson

(KO, Rd. 2)



Nam Phan def. Cole “Magrinho” Miller

(Split Decision)


Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis vs. Wagner “Caldeirao” Prado



Rani Yahya def. Josh “The Fluke” Grispi

(Submission; North-South Choke, Rd. 1)


Phil de Fries def. Oli Thompson

(Submission; Face Crank, Rd. 2)


Manny “The Anvil” Gamburyan def. Michihiro Omigawa

(Unanimous Decision)


John Moraga def. Ulysses “Useless” Gomez

(KO, Rd. 1)


Upcoming Events:

UFC 150: Henderson vs. Alvarez (Saturday August 11th; 10:00 pm ET)

– Denver, Colorado (Pepsi Center)

Main Event: Benson “Smooth” Henderson vs. Frankie “The Answer” Edgar [Lightweight Title]

Notable: Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone vs. Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard

Notable: Jake Shields vs. Ed “Short Fuse” Herman


UFC 151: Jones vs. Hendo (Saturday September 1st; 10:00 pm ET)

– Las Vegas, Nevada (Mandalay Bay Events Center)

Main Event: Jon “Bones” Jones vs. Dan “Hendo” Henderson [Light Heavyweight Title]

Notable: Michael “The Menace” Johnson vs. Danny “Last Call” Castillo

Notable: Takeya Mizugaki vs. Jeff “Hellbound” Hougland


UFC 152: Benavidez vs. Johnson (Saturday September 22nd; 10:00 pm ET)

– Toronto, Ontario (Air Canada Centre)

Main Event: Joseph Benavidez vs. Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson [Flyweight Title]

Notable: Michael “The Count” Bisping vs. Brian “All-American” Stann

Notable: “The Prodigy” BJ Penn vs. Rory “Ares” MacDonald


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