'UFC On FOX 4' Results: 'Shogun' Stops Vera; Machida Knocks Out Bader
While Brandon Vera appeared back in his old form on Saturday, it wouldn't be enough to come out victorious against Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
Rua (21-6) stopped “The Truth” in the fourth round with strikes in the UFC on Fox 4 headliner at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Visibly near the end of his gas tank, "Shogun" put an end to the back-and-forth battle at the 4:09 mark of round four.
“He’s a very good fighter,” Rua said. “I’m sorry, guys. I didn’t give my best today, but I will improve to give my best in the future. The most important thing is the victory. I respect Brandon a lot. He made an excellent fight. I was more tired in the second and third rounds than I expected.”
A stiff left hook late in the fourth swung the momentum in the Brazilian's favor. “Shogun” followed it with a thunderous left-right combo, planting his wounded foe on the canvas. Rua finished him there, as a series of heavy ground strikes forced referee Herb Dean to intervene and save Vera from further punishment.
Vera (12-6), who previously spent time as a heavyweight, showed vast improvements in his game despite coming up short. He attacked Rua with barrages of punches, standing elbows and kicks to the head and body. In response, the Brazilian neutralized him with takedowns, ground-and-pound and strong clinch work. Vera remained competitive until he finally succumbed to the blows in the fourth round.
Former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida knocked out “The Ultimate Fighter 8" winner Ryan Bader in the co-main event. Bader (14-3), who had never before been knocked out, found himself in the unfamiliar spot just 92 seconds into round two.
Bader was never able to find an answer for his tricky opponent, as Machida (18-3) lured him into his trap with kicks to the legs and body. In the second round, Bader charged forward with a powerful right hand loaded. He was met with a Machida counterpunch and folded where he stood. A pair of right hands followed, one of them with Bader on the way down, and resulted in the wrestling standout being knocked unconscious.
“I feel very well,” Machida said. “I think it was a great performance. I want to say that ‘The Dragon’ is back.”
Joe Lauzon submitted former WEC lightweight champion Jamie Varner with a third-round triangle choke in a "Fight of the Night" winner at 155 pounds. Lauzon (22-7) sealed the deal 2:44 into round three, as he found success for the third time in four outings.
Varner (20-7-1), who filled in for the injured Terry Etim on short notice, staggered Lauzon with one right hand in the first round and dropped him with another. He pounced on “The Ultimate Fighter 5” alum on the ground to no avail and returned to his corner between rounds visibly fatigued.
Lauzon took control of the fight in the second round, where he twice took his opponent's back and ultimately mounted him with roughly half a minute remaining in the round. Varner secured a takedown in round three, only to be swept by Lauzon. The 28-year-old Boston native then trapped Varner in a triangle during the transition, forcing the tapout.
In his first appearance in more than two years, Mike Swick knocked out DaMarques Johnson 80 seconds into the second round of their welterweight encounter. Stuck on the sidelines with an assortment of injuries, Swick (15-4) had not fought since his submission loss to Paulo Thiago at UFC 109 in February of 2010.
The victory wouldn't come entirely easy for Swick, however. Johnson (15-11) had him in serious trouble in the first round, as he moved to full mount, battered him with elbows and threatened him with various chokes. Swick refused to give in. In the second round, he caught a low kick from Johnson, drove him to the ground and delivered a wicked standing-to-ground right hand that knocked his foe unconscious. Swick landed two follow-up ground strikes for good measure.
“I had to take what I could get. He came [out] a lot harder than I thought [he would]. He hit me in the eye in the first round, and I still can’t see out of it,” Swick said. “I was really worried that I couldn’t see out of one eye, so I was taking any shot I could and throwing with everything I had. I wanted to get a knockout tonight.”