UFC on Fox 4: Breaking Down the Top Matches of the Night
After the UFC displayed some very disappointing fight cards over the last few weeks, the company fully redeemed itself with a number of excellent matches in its return to prime time at UFC on Fox 4.
There were quite a few top-notch bouts on Saturday night, and they helped the company finally put on an entertaining show for the fans.
Former champions took the mat, and there was also a No. 1 contender's spot on the line.
So, let's break down the biggest fights of the night.
Mike Swick defeats DaMarques Johnson
Last night was a long time coming for Mike Swick. It had been two long years since he had seen the ring after a number of injuries and major stomach illness.
But on his first night back, he took full advantage.
His fight against DaMarques Johnson was very fast paced, and there were a number of striking exchanges in the first round. Actually, Johnson got the better of Swick for most of the opener, almost scoring a knockout with a D'arce choke.
However, Swick turned the tables in the second set.
He landed a powerful kick early in the second round and took Johnson to the ground. From there, he pounded Johnson with a heavy right hand, scoring the knockout.
The match was very entertaining, and Swick looked great in his return. Look for big things in the future from the veteran.
Joe Lauzon defeats Jamie Varner
This may not have been the main event, but it was quite possibly the best bout of the night.
The three-round thriller was back and forth the whole way with both Joe Lauzon and Jamie Varner landing multiple strikes.
In the first round, Varner had the advantage as he worked Lauzon all over the ring. However, Lauzon flipped the script in the second, taking advantage of a seemingly winded Varner to score some blows.
The third round seemed to swing back into Varner's favor, but about halfway through the contest Lauzon changed the direction of the match with a fantastic sweep. He then followed it up with a triangle choke, forcing Varner to tap out.
This was one of the most entertaining matches all year, and if you didn't see it, you’d be doing yourself a favor by finding a replay.
Lyoto Machida defeats Ryan Bader
When Dana White announced that the most impressive winner out of the two 205-pound main events would get a title shot against Jon "Bones" Jones, Lyoto Machida seemed to get the message.
The former light heavyweight champion, Machida, dominated the fight against Ryan Bader, scoring a knockout with a big right hand 90 seconds into the second round.
Bader looked wary of coming blow-to-blow with Machida all night, largely stepping around him in the first round. And as it turns out, his caution was justified.
A date was not announced for Machida’s title shot, but he's certainly not short on confidence, according to the Huffington Post.
"'I think it was a great performance, and I want to say, the Dragon is back,' Machida shouted, citing his own nickname."
He will need to be if Machida has a chance to defeat Jones.
Mauricio Rua defeats Brandon Vera
The main card of the night certainly did not disappoint as Mauricio "Shotgun" Rua and Brandon Vera went back and forth over four rounds.
The first round turned into a grappling battle. Both fighters got their licks in, and each showed prowess with the ground-and-pound game.
In the second the pace picked up. Vera showered Rua with strikes early on, almost finishing the fight. However, Rua came back strong before the bell sounded and ended the round with a flurry.
The third round turned back into a grapple fest once again, and this time Rua imposed his will.
That momentum carried over into the fourth, as Rua took Vera to the ground for the last time. He ended the match with a number of connected blows, forcing the ref to step in and stop the bout.
Still, the night will be a disappointment to Rua, because, in the end, he failed to come away with a title shot.