UFC on FOX 4: Shogun vs. Vera delivered the goods, and then some. Apart from a singularly disappointing "no contest" due to an eye poke in the Phil Davis vs. Wagner Prado fight, the entire fight card delivered from top to bottom.
Those watching from the Staples Center in Los Angeles were delivered a real treat, but also being broadcast on FOX television for free, truly everybody won.
The fighters themselves had their fair share of disappointments, but even Brandon Vera, who lost in the main event, said that he believes in moral victories regarding his performance on the night.
It was such a memorable night, and without further ado, here are the night's most memorable quotes and images.
-quotes provided to B/R via the UFC.
John Moraga firmly put himself in the newly forming flyweight map with a brutal first-round destruction of Ulysses Gomez.
The flyweights are yet to be one of the more popular divisions, but with performances like this, it surely will not be long.
I don’t care who’s next and I just want to keep the UFC happy. Maybe someday I’ll get to avenge my only loss to John Dodson but that’s in the future.” - John Moraga
It was not easy, but Manny Gamburyan pulled out a tough decision victory over respected and tough-as-nails fellow Judoka Michihiro Omigawa.
Tough indeed, so much that after the decision, Omigawa opined about how he deserved the judge's nod. With powerful grappling and diverse striking, including a solid landed head kick, it is understandable why Gamburyan received the decision.
I clipped him twice with head kicks and hurt him really badly. I think anyone else would’ve gone down but he just looked back at me like he was telling me to hit him again.
All of my friends here in LA were telling me that I couldn’t lose at the Staples Center so there was a lot of added pressure. - Manny Gamburyan
Two British heavyweights had to square off against each other, and according to the winner, De Fries, he was happy to disprove the theory that Brits don't have great ground games. With Brits like Paul Sass and John Maquire also picking UFC submissions in recent events, he seems to be on to something.
Thompson is a tough out, but De Fries kept the pressure on and finished with a rear-naked choke.
As much as I love my fish and chips and being in England the time spent there just focusing on training made all the difference.
There was huge pressure in this fight to win. I used to be scared to go in and get beaten up or hurt but in the UFC you’re just scared to lose. It took me a bit of time to get warmed up out there but I’m glad I got out of the fight with no injuries and I was able to use my Jiu Jitsu and show that us Brits have ground game too. - Phil De Fries
Josh Grispi is a fantastic grappler, but he was put on the ground by jiu-jitsue wizard Yahya. There was not a whole lot he could do to stop being sucked into an eventual submission.
It was fantastic work by Yahya, and Grispi elaborated on it best with the following:
He’s a legend on the ground and I know he loves that choke but in the spot he was in I didn’t think he was going to be able to tighten it enough to finish.
I had my hand on his face and an underhook but somehow he got it really tight and things started to fade out around me. I didn’t want to be that guy asleep on the mat so I tapped. Congrats to Rani. - Josh Grispi
The only disappointment of the night, but it was still short-lived. The doctor called off the fight after an incidental eye poke from Davis rendered Prado with impaired vision.
In MMA you’re supposed to have a clenched fist and Phil definitely didn’t which is why I got poked. - Wagner Prado
The only other fight to go to a decision, Phan and Miller put on an exciting back-and-forth battle that was a contender for "fight of the night".... until some of the main card fights stole the show.
I saw a lot of Asian faces out there in the crowd so I wanted to put on a show for my people. I think the fans loved it so give me the fight of the night bonus! C’mon! I want to get back in there as soon as possible hopefully on the Macau card. - Nam Phan
After nearly two-and-a-half years away from the octagon, Mike Swick, an Ultimate Fighter original, came back to shake off the ring rust and deliver the "knockout of the night."
I really had to test my gut and by the time I got the finish I was throwing everything I had behind every shot just trying to end it
I’m going to stay in shape and heal up so I can get right back in there. - Mike Swick
It was a knock 'em down, drag 'em out fight, with Joe Lauzon eventually coming out on top with a dramatic finish that earned him two fight night bonuses, pushing him past Chris Lytle for the all-time record.
I love to fight and can’t wait to get back in there as soon as I heal up. I’m sure I’m going to be a little sore in the morning but it’s all worth it. - Joe Lauzon
It looks like Lyoto Machida secured his next shot at the UFC title with a virtuoso and vintage performance against Ryan Bader.
Without able to get much going, Bader charged forward, only to run into a perfect right hand that landed on his chin and put him out.
I think I successfully controlled the entire fight. I changed my stance back and forth from southpaw as often as possible to keep him guessing. I was just looking to counter when he made mistakes and that’s how I was able to finish him. The dragon is back. I lost my last fight but I feel better than ever and I’m ready to fight for the title again. - Lyoto Machida
I have no recollection of what happened in there. But I definitely felt like I had to be the one to engage and force the issue since he never did. - Ryan Bader
When Mauricio Rua steps into the cage, he goes to put pressure on his opponent and to knock them out. Not many men can stand up to it when he is in true form.
Even though Vera put on probably the most memorable performance of his UFC career, it was not enough to stop Rua from achieving victory.
The most important thing is the victory. I respect Brandon a lot. He made an excellent fight. Let us see what happens next. - Mauricio Rua