The UFC’s fourth installment on broadcast television took place from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Aug. 4.
The card featured a quartet of light heavyweights as former UFC champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua met Brandon Vera, while another former champ, Lyoto Machida, took on Ultimate Fighter winner Ryan Bader.
In addition to the two light heavyweight bouts, the main card also featured former WEC champion Jamie Varner battling Joe Lauzon in a lightweight affair and welterweight Mike Swick fighting for the first time in two years against DaMarques Johnson. An additional six fights filled the night’s preliminary card.
Saturday’s main card aired live on Fox starting at 8 p.m. ET. The preliminary card was shown on Fuel TV beginning at 5 p.m. ET.
Brazilian Mauricio “Shogun” Rua outlasted a very game Brandon Vera and scored a fourth-round TKO.
The former champion started strong, punishing Vera on the feet and then taking the fight to the ground. Rua passed Vera’s guard and rained ground and pound from the top.
It was more of the same in the second, but Vera fought back with heart, finishing the round in Rua’ half guard.
“Shogun” pushed forward in the third frame, battering Vera along the fence. Much like the first, Rua took Vera down and rained punches from the half guard before passing to side control.
In the fourth round Vera fired back with combinations but Rua’s pressure was too much. A combination along the fence dropped Vera and the Brazilian smelled blood, finishing off “The Truth” and claiming a TKO win.
“This was not my best performance, but I will be back better in the future,” Rua told Joe Rogan. “I was tired in the third and fourth rounds and Brandon [Vera] made this an excellent fight.”
Former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida made a big statement by dispatching of Ultimate Fighter winner Ryan Bader by second-round knockout.
Machida started slow, but managed to stifle Bader’s advance in the opening frame. As the round progressed Machida began to connect with kicks.
Bader started the second frame more aggressive and it ultimately spelled his doom. As Bader barreled forward, Machida delivered a right hand that put Bader out. A few follow up shots and the Brazilian made his case for another shot at the 205-pound belt.
“The Dragon’s back!” Machida proclaimed in victory. UFC President Dana White declared that the karate-stylist will get a title shot against the Jon Jones-Dan Henderson winner.
Lightweight Joe Lauzon bounced back from a recent defeat to submit late-notice opponent Jamie Varner in a spirited affair.
The opening round saw the former WEC champ Varner score early with his boxing, but Lauzon battled back. Varner dropped Lauzon late in the frame with a right hand to take the round.
In the middle stanza Lauzon came to life in the second round and threatened to submit Varner by taking his back. Varner fought back and continued to score with his boxing.
Varner’s conditioning may have been a factor in the final round as he dug deep early and scored with elbows from the clinch. After Varner landed a takedown, Lauzon secured double overhooks and used a butterfly guard to sweep. Varner powered through to reverse, but Lauzon slickly applied a triangle choke and forced Varner to tap.
After a two-year absence from the sport due to esophageal spasms, Mike Swick triumphantly returned to the UFC and knocked out DaMarques Johnson.
In the opening frame both fighters went for broke in some wild exchanges. Swick connected early with a big right hand, but Johnson fired back. Johnson scored with a takedown midway through the round and came close to ending the fight with both ground and pound and a D’arce choke.
The second frame saw Swick catch a kick from Johnson and dump him to the mat. Swick lived up to his “Quick” moniker by dropping a big right hand flush to Johnson’s jaw and claiming the knockout win.
“Hey guys, remember me?” Swick asked in his post-fight speech. He thanked his family, teammates and fans for supporting him through his health issues.
Nam Phan overcame a massive height and reach disadvantage to eke out a decision over Cole Miller. The two featherweights engaged on the feet for the entire 15 minutes, repeatedly clipping one another with hooks to the jaw and body. When the scorecards were read, Phan took the fight from two of the three judges.
A light heavyweight contest between undefeated Brazilian Wagner Prado and national champion wrestler Phil Davis ended before it really got started. Davis accidentally poked Prado in the right eye as the Brazilian marched forward and the referee waived the fight off, declaring a no-decision.
Brazilian Rani Yahya handed his fellow featherweight Josh Grispi a third straight loss with a slick submission. Grispi landed early on the feet, but Yahya brought the fight to the ground, passed the guard, and submitted Grispi with a north-south choke.
British heavyweights Phil De Fries and Oli Thompson struggled through a slow, grinding first round before De Fries submitted his countryman in the second frame. De Fries landed a right hand that hurt Thompson and then methodically worked to take his back and apply the rear-naked choke.
In a battle of featherweight judo practitioners, Manny Gamburyan claimed a decision over Michihiro Omigawa. Omigawa likely took the first round by landing power shots, but Gamburyan used multiple takedowns in the second and third rounds, as well as a clean head kick to score points.
Flyweight John Moraga picked up a knockout win in his UFC debut by finishing off fellow newcomer Ulysses Gomez with a barrage of elbows along the fence. Moraga pressured Gomez throughout and never allowed Gomez to mount any offense.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua def. Brandon Vera by TKO (strikes). Round 4, 4:09
Lyoto Machida def. Ryan Bader by KO (punch). Round 2, 1:32
Joe Lauzon def. Jamie Varner by submission (triangle choke). Round 3, 2:44
Mike Swick def. DaMarques Johnson by KO (punch). Round 2, 1:20
Nam Phan def. Cole Miller by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Phil Davis vs. Wagner Prado declared a no-decision (unintentional foul). Round 1, 1:28
Rani Yahya def. Josh Grispi by submission (north-south choke). Round 1, 3:15
Phil De Fries def. Oli Thompson by submission (rear-naked choke). Round 2, 4:16
Manny Gamburyan def. Michihiro Omigawa by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
John Moraga def. Ulysses Gomez by KO (elbows). Round 1, 3:46
Photo: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (James Law/Heavy MMA)