UFC on Fox 4 Results: What's Next for the Winners and Losers
On Saturday night, the MMA gods and the UFC's matchmaking alchemists joined forces to finally turn a Fox card into gold. Whenever eight of the evening's 10 fights can stake a legitimate claim to Knockout, Submission or Fight of the Night distinctions—as happened at UFC on Fox 4—well, it means things went pretty well (ratings be damned).
Each fight seemed to carry an interesting story too. Here's a look at the next chapters for the winner and loser of every contest.
Ulysses Gomez vs. John Moraga
Result: John Moraga def. Ulysses Gomez by knockout, Round 1
Despite these two flyweights sporting a combined record of 19-3 coming into what was the UFC debut for both men, Gomez was far more widely hailed. But after Moraga's machine-like knockout, that's no longer the case.
Next for Moraga: Chris Cariaso—another fighter who finds himself at 1-0 in the UFC's flyweight division. Both men seem to prefer to keep their fights standing. So let's see what happens when the ground phase leaves the equation.
Next for Gomez: A fight with the winner between Yasuhiro Urushitani and John Lineker might help clear up the sediment at the bottom of this still-settling division.
Manvel Gamburyan vs. Michihiro Omigawa
Result: Manvel Gamburyan def. Michihiro Omigawa by unanimous decision.
A good and balanced fight between two win-hungry featherweights probably swung for Gamburyan on the strength of some last-minute takedowns.
Next for Gamburyan: How good is Hacran Dias? "The Anvil" could help us find out.
Next for Omigawa: He's now lost four of five, but he's a competitor and probably still has a place in the UFC for now. Tiequan Zhang could be the other half of a loser-leaves-town engagement.
Phil De Fries vs. Oli Thompson
Result: Phil De Fries def. Oli Thompson by submission, Round 2.
Question: What is "lumbering?"
Answer: These two heavyweights on August 4, 2012.
It wasn't pretty, but De Fries ground Thompson to the nub and sunk in whatever that thing was that he used to get the tap.
Next for De Fries: Shane del Rosario has the well-rounded game to ensure it wouldn't be so easy for De Fries next time.
Next for Thompson: I want to like Oli Thompson. I like the Britain's strongest man subplot. I like that he looks like he should be fighting lions in a loincloth instead of men in a cage.
But he didn't look like he wanted to be there last night. Does he? He's 0-2 in the UFC now; maybe one more chance, maybe with Christian Morecraft? Do it for the storylines, Dana.
Rani Yahya vs. Josh Grispi
Result: Rani Yahya def. Josh Grispi by submission, Round 1.
Yahya was just outstanding in tapping a solid ground fighter in Grispi, who has now lost three straight. Only Chan-Sung Jung stands out as a better submission artist in today's featherweight division. And I'm not even sure about that.
Next for Yahya: I'd love to see him tangle with Jung, but with "The Zombie" on standby for the next title shot, I guess I'd settle for Zombie's last opponent, Dustin Poirier. And lest you believe Poirier to be out of Yahya's league, remember that Yahya's only UFC loss thus far came to contender Chad Mendes.
Next for Grispi: Leonard Garcia. Loser leaves town.
Phil Davis vs. Vagner Prado
Result: No Contest, Eye Poke from Davis, Round 1
The results line pretty much covers it. Although, I will add that Prado showed some quick hands in those three minutes and change that the fight lasted.
What's Next: Rematch. No way around it.
Cole Miller vs. Nam Phan
Result: Nam Phan def. Cole Miller by split decision
Best fight on the Fuel TV undercard. Two guys who wanted to fight fought. It was a brawl from the get-go, with Miller working to capitalize on major height and reach advantages and Phan darting in to chop away at the large target that is Miller's torso. Phan definitely had Miller hurt at times, though I'm not sure the opposite is true.
Next for Phan: After Jimy Hettes beats Marcus Brimage on Sept. 22, Nam Phan and Marcus Brimage can fight it out to see who the best guy is among the last two guys to lose to Jimy Hettes.
Next for Miller: He's 0-2 so far at featherweight and 7-3 in the rest of his UFC career. Maybe one more test at 145. Hey, how about Cody McKenzie, another rangy featherweight convert who lost by body shot in his last engagement? These two men and their torsos are victims of the same epidemic. They can compare notes on symptoms.
Mike Swick vs. DeMarques Johnson
Result: Mike Swick def. DeMarques Johnson by knockout, Round 2.
It's appropriate that the first fight on the Fox telecast made me feel like Jerry Seinfeld's mother: How can anybody not like this guy?
Swick's public story and persona are compelling, but the real affection is for his approach in the cage. In this case, the key sequence was a trip takedown in the center of the Octagon followed by a fight-ending jolt from Swick's cattle prod of a right hand. Poetry, baby. On a night full of great finishes, Swick rightly walked away with Knockout of the Night honors.
Next for Swick: Welterweight's a hell of a deep division, so you don't have to throw the stone too far to hit a good test. How about, ehhhhhh Matt Brown.
Next for Johnson: Not the finest hour out there for Johnson. I'd like to see who falls out of the bottom of a fight between him and Papy Abedi.
Joe Lauzon vs. Jamie Varner
Result: Joe Lauzon def. Jamie Varner by submission, Round 3.
Varner gassed, Lauzon knew it and Lauzon eventually brought down his prey. Before tiring, Varner had a decided strength advantage, powering out of multiple submission attempts. Both traded momentum during good exchanges on the feet and the ground, but an exhausted Varner couldn't escape Lauzon's final submission attempt, a triangle choke.
Next for Lauzon: A nice vacation after taking home $50,000 bonuses for Submission of the Night and Fight of the Night. I like to imagine that the UFC comes into the locker room and hands bonus winners a case filled with crisp bills. But it's probably not as cool as that.
Next for Varner: A full training camp, and a brawl with Jeremy Stephens that would leave an interesting splatter pattern and probably be a good bet to net a second straight postfight bonus for Varner.
Ryan Bader vs. Lyoto Machida
Result: Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida def. Ryan Bader by knockout, Round 2.
The Dragon was more like a snake charmer tonight. The formal—and decidedly emphatic—end didn't come until past the halfway point of the second round, but Machida had Bader's number from the beginning. The final blow came when Bader bulled in and the matador that is Machida coolly planted a fist between his eyes. In a testament to Machida's charity, Bader left the cage with both ears intact.
Next for Machida: Title shot. But wait! Here's a little nugget that may change your thinking about the potential permutations here: champ Jon Jones choked out Machida eight months ago. No, it's true. You can look it up.
Next Bader: Back on the grind. But the walls are beginning, just a bit, to close in on Bader. He's already beaten or lost to most of the division's upper crust. Maybe a fight with Brandon Vera?
(Great photo, by the way. Nice work, Gary A. Vasquez.)
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua vs. Brandon Vera
Result: Shogun Rua def. Brandon Vera by knockout, Round 4.
It was an up-and-down affair. Shogun took punishment from a willing Brandon Vera, but in the end, he dished more out.
Next for Rua: The logical play here is a title eliminator with Alexander Gustafsson. However, I wouldn't mind a rematch with Dan Henderson if Hendo comes up short against Jones. Yes. I would watch that.
Next for Vera: He lives to fight another day. As mentioned, Bader may be a possibility. Though, if that's too much for Vera at this point and Stephan Bonnar can't get Forrest Griffin to complete the trilogy, you could do a lot worse than Vera for a dance partner in your Octagon swan song.
Scott Harris is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report MMA and a regular contributor to the site's Caged In blog. He also has a new and reasonably entertaining Twitter account; follow along at @ScottHarrisMMA.