Last night the Ultimate Fighting Championship embarked on their fourth venture onto the media conglomerate FOX’ main stage with what, on paper, seemed to be a less than mind blowing fight card.
Well, once again we’ve been proven that assumptions can be deadly.
The score cards were only needed twice on the ten fight bill capped off with an action-heavy fight card on the business end topped off with Mauricio “Shogun” Rua finishing a game Brandon Vera and Lyoto Machida dominating Ryan Bader.
As I always do after a busy night of fisticuffs being thrown I’ll take a look at the top matches to make moving forward for the participants.
Lyoto Machida vs. Jones-Henderson winner
UFC President Dana White confirmed it on the FOX telecast, Lyoto Machida was deemed the more impressive fighter in his fight with Ryan Bader that he left unscaved with the two-time NCAA Division All-American wrestler having no answer for the in-cage puzzle of the Brazilian.
Jon Jones and Dan Henderson are set to fight for the UFC light-heavyweight crown on September 1, either giving us a fresh interesting match-up or Jones having a second go-around with the only fighter to win a round against him within the Octagon.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira II
Fight fans that have watched this sport for longer than a cup of coffee clamour for the glory days of the Pride Fighting Championships so throwing a nostalgia fight in the direction cannot hurt at this point with “Shogun” and “Lil Nog” meeting inside a cage this time.
Rua and Nogueira first met in the quarter-finals of the 2005 Pride Middleweight Grand Prix, during Rua’s reign of dominance Nogueira was the only person not to be finished the dangerous Chute Boxe striker in their fantastic fight that was deemed ‘Fight of the year’ by Sherdog.com.
While neither are the same level of fighter as when they first touched gloves seven years ago, pairing them up cannot deliver anything but excitement.
Brandon Vera vs. Ryan Bader
While he didn’t get his hand raised, Vera raised his stock ten folds with his gutsy performance against the former UFC light-heavyweight kingpin taking the fight directly to him and having the Brazilian on wobbly legs at points.
Bader didn’t have a performance that grabbed any attention though, the Ultimate Fighter winner wasn’t able to get the ball rolling against the former ruler of the 205-pound division, eventually being stopped in highlight-reel fashion.
Matching these two losers up is a good move right now, both are at a similar perceived level and both have the same destination in mind, might as well throw them in a cage and see what happens.
Joe Lauzon vs. Sass-Wiman winner
I knew going into it that Joe Lauzon and Jamie Varner would be a basket of fun, but I had no idea that it was going to be that good – Varner and Lauzon was all-action from the opening bell with hard-hitting shots, dynamic scrambles and a submission of the year candidate to cap it off.
As much as I would love to just watch them to fight again, Lauzon is still looking to climb back up that lightweight ladder and is still several fights away from the top of the division, a fight with the Paul Sass vs. Matt Wiman winner would be appropriate if either get their hand raised.
Mike Swick vs. Hardy-Sodollah winner
It’s been a long time since original Ultimate Fighter cast member Mike Swick got his hand raised inside the UFC’s Octagon but it finally happened after a two-and-a-half year drought with Swick finishing fellow TUF cast-off Damarques Johnson.
If he can get his health under control Swick can be a great addition to that 170-pound field so hopefully he can get back in there soon, possibly matching him up with the Dan Hardy vs. Amir Sodollah winner could deliver fireworks.
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