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UFC on Versus 4: Info and Predictions for Every Fight on the Card

Nick CaronAnalyst IJune 22, 2011

UFC on Versus 4: Info and Predictions for Every Fight on the Card

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    Zuffa will continue a huge month of June with its fourth MMA event this Sunday night, UFC on Versus 4 from the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA. As always, Bleacher Report will be your home for the latest news, predictions and results of the event.

    The main event will feature the welterweight debut of former middleweight contender Nate “The Great” Marquardt as he fights up-and-comer Rick Story in what will likely be a very important bout when it comes to future title aspirations for both men.

    That fight will replace the original main event which was scheduled to be Marquardt against Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, who recently thoroughly beat Dan Hardy at UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Davis in late-March. Johnson was forced out of the bout, though, with a rotator cuff injury.

    The event will air on Versus in the U.S. and Rogers Sportsnet in Canada, with the preliminary fights being available on Facebook. The following is the official finalized fight card.

    Preliminary Card (on Facebook):

    Michael Johnson vs. Edward Faaloloto (lightweight bout)
    Ricardo Lamas vs. Matt Grice (featherweight bout)
    Nik Lentz vs. Charles Oliveira (lightweight bout)
    Charlie Brenneman vs. TJ Grant (welterweight bout)
    Daniel Roberts vs. Rich Attonito (welterweight bout)
    Joe Lauzon vs. Curt Warburton (lightweight bout)
    Joe Stevenson vs. Javier Vasquez (featherweight bout)
    Tyson Griffin vs. Manny Gamburyan (featherweight bout)

    Main Card (on Versus):

    Matt Mitrione vs. Christian Morecraft (heavyweight bout)
    Matt Brown vs. John Howard (welterweight bout)
    Cheick Kongo vs. Pat Barry (heavyweight bout)
    Nate Marquardt vs. Rick Story (welterweight bout)

    If you’re looking for a more in-depth look at each fight with some predictions, read on!

Michael Johnson vs. Edward Faaloloto

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    Michael Johnson
    Height: 5’10”
    Weight: 155 pounds
    Age: 25
    MMA Record: 8-5
    UFC Record: 0-1
    Wins: 4 by knockout, 2 by submission, 2 by decision
    Losses: 0 by knockout, 4 by submission, 1 by decision

    Edward Faaloloto
    Height: 5’9”
    Weight: 155 pounds
    Age: 26
    MMA Record: 2-1
    UFC Record: 0-0
    Wins: 0 by knockout, 1 by submission, 1 by decision
    Losses: 1 by knockout, 0 by submission, 0 by decision

    Fight Information:
    Michael Johnson is a The Ultimate Fighter season 12 finalist who began trying out for the show in season 8, but was unsuccessful until he was finally accepted for the Team GSP vs. Team Koscheck season.

    He was eventually defeated by decision in the finals by Jonathan Brookins, but has now moved on to join Jackson’s Submission Fighting and is looking to prove his worth in the UFC.

    Edward Faaloloto signed with the WEC after just two local, professional fights. But after a loss to Anthony Njokuani at WEC 52, he will be making his UFC debut.

    Prediction:
    Michael Johnson by knockout, Round 1.

Ricardo Lamas vs. Matt Grice

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    Ricardo Lamas
    Height: 5’8”
    Weight: 155 pounds
    Age: 29
    MMA Record: 9-2
    UFC Record: 0-0
    Wins: 2 by knockout, 2 by submission, 5 by decision
    Losses: 2 by knockout, 0 by submission, 0 by decision

    Matt Grice
    Height: 5’8”
    Weight: 155 pounds
    Age: 29
    MMA Record: 13-3
    UFC Record: 1-3
    Wins: 4 by knockout, 5 by submission, 4 by decision
    Losses: 1 by knockout, 2 by submission, 0 by decision

    Fight Information:
    Ricardo Lamas made his WEC debut in March 2009 when he won a unanimous decision over Bart Palaszewski. Though he lost his second and final fights for the promotion, he was able to put together a 4-2 record in the Zuffa-owned promotion before they merged with the UFC in 2011.

    Matt Grice is a six-year veteran of the sport who accumulated an impressive 8-0 record before he made his first debut for the UFC 70 in April 2007. But his time there was largely unsuccessful as he accumulated just a 1-3 record before being cut from the promotion following a loss at UFC 100.

    Since that loss, though, he has put together a streak of four wins and is looking forward to returning to the UFC to redeem himself.

    Prediction:
    Ricardo Lamas by submission, Round 2.

Nik Lentz vs. Charles Oliveira

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    Nik Lentz
    Height: 5’8”
    Weight: 155 pounds
    Age: 26
    MMA Record: 21-3-2
    UFC Record: 5-0-1
    Wins: 7 by knockout, 8 by submission, 6 by decision
    Losses: 1 by knockout, 1 by submission, 1 by decision

    Charles Oliveira
    Height: 5’8”
    Weight: 155 pounds
    Age: 21
    MMA Record: 14-1
    UFC Record: 2-1
    Wins: 6 by knockout, 7 by submission, 1 by decision
    Losses: 0 by knockout, 1 by submission, 0 by decision

    Fight Information:
    Two of the quiet up-and-coming contenders in the lightweight division will meet in this big undercard fight at UFC on Versus.

    Like his former training partner Brock Lesnar, Nik Lentz is a former NCAA Division I wrestler for the University of Minnesota. He then began training in mixed martial arts in 2005. After putting together an impressive record of 16-3-1, Lentz made his UFC debut at UFC 103 where he defeated Rafaello Oliveira. He has since gone undefeated in the world’s biggest MMA promotion, earning four of his six career decision victories as well as a submission.

    Lentz will be fighting another highly successful fighter, the 14-1 Charles Oliveira. Oliveira has dominated the majority of his professional fights in his home country of Brazil, then made his UFC debut in August 2010. After defeating Darren Elkins and Efrain Escudero, Oliveira had the biggest fight of his career against top contender Jim Miller at UFC 124. Unfortunately, Miller asserted his dominance by submitting Oliveira with a knee bar just minutes into the first round.

    This will be a big test for both men.

    Prediction:
    Nik Lentz by decision.

Charlie Brenneman vs. TJ Grant

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    Charlie Brenneman
    Height: 5’10”
    Weight: 170 pounds
    Age: 30
    MMA Record: 13-2
    UFC Record: 2-1
    Wins: 5 by knockout, 2 by submission, 6 by decision
    Losses: 1 by knockout, 0 by submission, 1 by decision

    TJ Grant
    Height: 5’11”
    Weight: 170 pounds
    Age: 27
    MMA Record: 16-5
    UFC Record: 3-3
    Wins: 2 by knockout, 12 by submission, 2 by decision
    Losses: 0 by knockout, 1 by submission, 4 by decision

    Fight Information:
    After a successful start to his career as an amateur, Charlie Brenneman made his professional debut in 2007 before quickly running up an impressive 5-0 record. But in his sixth fight, Brenneman fought another man who will be fighting on this card, John Howard, who dealt him the first loss of his career. Since that night, though, he has been on another impressive streak, going 13-1 with his only loss coming at UFC 117 to Johny Hendricks.

    On the other side of the cage will be six-time UFC veteran TJ Grant who opened his UFC career with a big victory over Ryo Chonan. But since that night, he has alternated wins and losses, running his total UFC record to an uninspiring 3-3 record with losses to Ricardo Almeida and Dong Hyun Kim.  

    Grant was originally scheduled to fight Matthew Riddle on this card, but an injury knocked Riddle out of the fight and he was replaced with Brenneman.

    Prediction:
    Charlie Brenneman by decision.

Daniel Roberts vs. Rich Attonito

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    Daniel Roberts
    Height: 5’10”
    Weight: 170 pounds
    Age: 30
    MMA Record: 12-2
    UFC Record: 3-2
    Wins: 0 by knockout, 9 by submission, 3 by decision
    Losses: 1 by knockout, 0 by submission, 1 by decision

    Rich Attonito
    Height: 5’10”
    Weight: 170 pounds
    Age: 34
    MMA Record: 9-4
    UFC Record: 2-1
    Wins: 4 by knockout, 2 by submission, 3 by decision
    Losses: 1 by knockout, 1 by submission, 2 by decision

    Fight Information:
    A 12-year practitioner of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Daniel Roberts brought an undefeated 9-0 professional record into his UFC debut where he first tasted defeat against John Howard. Not to be held down, though, Roberts bounced back with three straight victories before he dropped his most recent bout to Claude Patrick at UFC 127 in a unanimous decision.

    Roberts will be fighting former The Ultimate Fighter season 11 competitor Rich Attonito. Though Attonito did not win the competition, he didn’t lose it, either. He was knocked out of the competition early due to an injury he sustained to his hand.

    The UFC gave him a fair chance, though, and he took advantage by winning back-to-back fights over Rafael Natal and Jamie Yager before losing to Dave Branch at The Ultimate Fighter season 12 Finale.

    Like main event fighter Nate Marquardt, Attonito will be making his welterweight debut after dropping down from the middleweight division.

    Prediction:
    Daniel Roberts by submission, Round 2. 

Joe Lauzon vs. Curt Warburton

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    Joe Lauzon
    Height: 5’10”
    Weight: 155 pounds
    Age: 27
    MMA Record: 19-6
    UFC Record: 6-3
    Wins: 4 by knockout, 15 by submission, 0 by decision
    Losses: 2 by knockout, 3 by submission, 1 by decision

    Curt Warburton
    Height: 5’10”
    Weight: 155 pounds
    Age: 34
    MMA Record: 7-2
    UFC Record: 1-1
    Wins: 4 by knockout, 1 by submission, 2 by decision
    Losses: 0 by knockout, 1 by submission, 1 by decision

    Fight Information:
    When Joe Lauzon made his Octagon debut at UFC 63, he quickly made his stamp on the MMA world by delivering a crushing knockout on the then-highly ranked former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver. 

    He then proceeded to follow it up with back-to-back victories over Brandon Melendez and Jason Reinhardt before he got the biggest opportunity of his career against former The Ultimate Fighter winner, Kenny Florian. Unfortunately, Lauzon tasted defeat in the UFC for the first time that night as he was thoroughly dominated by the dominant ground-and-pound of Florian. 

    Since then, Lauzon has gone 3-2 in the UFC with his most recent fight being a disappointing loss to the highly touted submission expert George Sotiropoulos. 

    Lauzon will have a chance to get back in the win column as he fights English fighter Curt Warburton, who has gone 1-1 in the Octagon. Though Warburton has not broken through in the UFC yet, Warburton is a skilled fighter who holds a victory over his friend and The Ultimate Fighter 9 winner Ross Pearson. 

    Still, despite being three years the elder of Lauzon, Warburton has had 16 less professional fights and has not yet faced the competition that J-Lau has. If Lauzon can avoid gassing like he did in his fight with Sotiropoulos, I expect him to come out with a victory in this one.  

    Prediction:
    Joe Lauzon by submission, Round 3.

Joe Stevenson vs. Javier Vasquez

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    Joe Stevenson
    Height: 5’7”
    Weight: 145 pounds
    Age: 29
    MMA Record: 31-13
    UFC Record: 8-7
    Wins: 6 by knockout, 15 by submission, 10 by decision
    Losses: 3 by knockout, 4 by submission, 6 by decision

    Javier Vasquez
    Height: 5’7”
    Weight: 145 pounds
    Age: 35
    MMA Record: 15-5
    UFC Record: 0-0
    Wins: 0 by knockout, 11 by submission, 4 by decision
    Losses: 0 by knockout, 0 by submission, 5 by decision

    Fight Information:
    Former UFC lightweight No. 1 contender Joe Stevenson will be making his UFC featherweight debut in this highly important fight for his career.

    As a former welterweight winner of The Ultimate Fighter season 2, Stevenson quickly transitioned to the lightweight division where he went on to win four straight fights, earning a shot at BJ Penn’s championship. It was that crushing loss to Penn, though, that seemed to derail a once very promising career.

    But it may be the drop to 145 pounds that rejuvenates “Joe Daddy.”

    He’ll have his first chance against the 35-year old Javier Vasquez, a Cuban-American featherweight who made a name for himself in the WEC despite putting together just a 2-3 record in the promotion. He is a submission expert who has never been knocked out or submitted, but has also never won a fight by knockout.

    This should be a classic wrestling-versus-Jiu-Jitsu fight that really could go either way, but has recently gone the way of the wrestler more often.

    Prediction:
    Joe Stevenson by decision.

Tyson Griffin vs. Manny Gamburyan

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    Tyson Griffin
    Height: 5’6”
    Weight: 145 pounds
    Age: 27
    MMA Record: 14-5
    UFC Record: 7-5
    Wins: 5 by knockout, 4 by submission, 5 by decision
    Losses: 1 by knockout, 0 by submission, 4 by decision

    Manny Gamburyan
    Height: 5’5”
    Weight: 145 pounds
    Age: 30
    MMA Record: 11-5
    UFC Record: 5-4
    Wins: 2 by knockout, 6 by submission, 3 by decision
    Losses: 2 by knockout, 1 by submission, 2 by decision

    Fight Information:
    Another veteran making his UFC featherweight debut at UFC on Versus 4 will be Xtreme Couture member Tyson Griffin. He will be fighting against long-time featherweight, but The Ultimate Fighter 5 lightweight runner-up, Manny Gamburyan.

    Griffin was a once-promising lightweight who put together four straight wins over Clay Guida, Thiago Tavares, Gleison Tibau and Marcus Aurelio, all by decision. While he did lose a decision to Sean Sherk in October 2008, he did bounce back with back-to-back wins in 2009.

    Unfortunately, things went horribly for Griffin in 2010, losing two split decisions to Evan Dunham and Nik Lentz while also being dropped early in a fight against Takanori Gomi. However, the loss to Lentz was extremely controversial and Dana White went out of his way to state that Griffin would not be cut from the UFC despite losing his third straight fight. That said, this will very likely be the make-or-break fight for Griffin who really needs to get back in the win column against a solid former WEC featherweight title contender in Gamburyan.

    Gamburyan is coming off of a back injury that forced him out of his scheduled fight at UFC 128 in March, but appears to be ready to get back in the cage after his brutal knockout loss to Jose Aldo at WEC 51 this past September.

    This fight has the potential to be a Fight of the Night with two fighters who have had exciting bouts in the past. I expect Griffin to end up with a victory here based on the fact that this is an absolutely desperate situation for him.  

    Prediction:
    Tyson Griffin by decision.

Matt Mitrione vs. Christian Morecraft

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    Matt Mitrione
    Height: 6’3”
    Weight: 260 pounds
    Age: 32
    MMA Record: 4-0
    UFC Record: 4-0
    Wins: 3 by knockout, 0 by submission, 1 by decision
    Losses: 0 by knockout, 0 by submission, 0 by decision

    Christian Morecraft
    Height: 6’6”
    Weight: 260 pounds
    Age: 24
    MMA Record: 7-1
    UFC Record: 1-1
    Wins: 3 by knockout, 4 by submission, 0 by decision
    Losses: 1 by knockout, 0 by submission, 0 by decision

    Fight Information:
    A heavyweight bout between up-and-coming heavyweights Matt Mitrione and Christian Morecraft will kick off the live show on Versus this Sunday night.

    A former New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings, Mitrione made the transition to mixed martial arts when he competed in Season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter. Despite not winning the competition, Mitrione was known as the man who may have ended the MMA career of Kimbo Slice. He has now pushed his official professional record to 4-0, but may have the most difficult task yet against Christian Morecraft.

    Morecraft holds a professional record of 7-1 with a 1-1 record in the UFC, including a big victory over Sean McCorkle in his most recent fight in March. At 6’6”, Morecraft will have three inches on Mitrione and could have the advantage in the standup game.

    So far in their UFC careers, these two fighters seem to have fairly similar styles. It will be interesting to see who has the better overall skills.

    Prediction:
    Matt Mitrione by decision.

Matt Brown vs. John Howard

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    Matt Brown
    Height: 6’0”
    Weight: 170 pounds
    Age: 30
    MMA Record: 11-10
    UFC Record: 4-4
    Wins: 6 by knockout, 5 by submission, 0 by decision
    Losses: 0 by knockout, 8 by submission, 2 by decision

    John Howard
    Height: 5’7”
    Weight: 170 pounds
    Age: 28
    MMA Record: 14-6
    UFC Record: 4-2
    Wins: 4 by knockout, 6 by submission, 4 by decision
    Losses: 2 by knockout, 1 by submission, 3 by decision

    Fight Information:
    With a fight card that is relatively stacked with fairly decent names like Joe Stevenson and Joe Lauzon on the undercard, it seems odd that the UFC has decided to put the welterweight bout between John Howard and Matt Brown on their televised event.

    Each fighter is coming off of a multiple-fight losing streak with Howard having lost two straight, while Brown has lost three straight. The difference may be how the losses have come and who they have come against.

    Brown’s three straight losses have all come by submission to Brian Foster, Chris Lytle and Ricardo Almeida. To compare, John Howard’s first loss came by doctor’s stoppage against Jake Ellenberger and then decision to consensus top welterweight Thiago Alves.

    This is likely a win-or-you’re-out situation for both fighters which could lead to some exciting fireworks in this one. However, I expect the fight to go the way of John Howard, who has won more than 40-percent of his fights by submission, over Brown who has lost 80-percent of his fights by submission.

    Prediction:
    John Howard by submission, Round 1.

Cheick Kongo vs. Pat Barry

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    Cheick Kongo
    Height: 6’4”
    Weight: 228 pounds
    Age: 36
    MMA Record: 15-6-2
    UFC Record: 8-4-1
    Wins: 9 by knockout, 3 by submission, 3 by decision
    Losses: 1 by knockout, 1 by submission, 4 by decision

    Pat Barry
    Height: 5’11”
    Weight: 250 pounds
    Age: 31
    MMA Record: 6-2
    UFC Record: 3-2
    Wins: 5 by knockout, 0 by submission, 1 by decision
    Losses: 0 by knockout, 2 by submission, 0 by decision

    Fight Information:
    The semi-main event at this Sunday’s UFC on Versus card will feature a heavyweight bout between Cheick Kongo and Pat Barry.

    At 6’4”, Kongo will have a 5-inch height advantage and a 7 1/2-inch reach advantage in this fight, which generally means that he would like to keep the fight at a distance where he can make use of this significant edge.

    But much to the contrary, it may actually be Barry who will look to keep the fight at a distance. As a former professional kickboxer, Barry has some of the most thunderous kicks in the heavyweight division. In fact, he has won numerous fights with his leg kicks alone. Against a fighter like Cheick Kongo, Barry will likely look to continue that trend by attacking Kongo’s legs early and often as he hopes to wear down his opponent by the end of the fight.

    These two fighters will both likely try to keep the fight on the feet, so we could see some inventive and highly damaging strikes in this one.

    If Kongo can get into the clinch and neutralize Barry’s leg kicks, I feel that he has the advantage in the striking in this fight and should eventually be able to land a series of shots to put Barry down for the count.

    Prediction:
    Cheick Kongo by knockout, Round 2.

Nate Marquardt vs. Rick Story

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    Nate Marquardt
    Height: 6’0”
    Weight: 170 pounds
    Age: 32
    MMA Record: 30-10-2
    UFC Record: 10-4
    Wins: 8 by knockout, 15 by submission, 8 by decision
    Losses: 1 by knockout, 2 by submission, 7 by decision

    Rick Story
    Height: 5’10”
    Weight: 170 pounds
    Age: 26
    MMA Record: 13-3
    UFC Record: 6-1
    Wins: 3 by knockout, 2 by submission, 8 by decision
    Losses: 0 by knockout, 0 by submission, 3 by decision

    Fight Information:
    After being one of the top five middleweights in the world for the better part of the last decade, Nate Marquardt has finally decided to make his move down to the welterweight division.

    The decision came after his successful UFC 128 fight in March when he defeated Dan Miller by decision. Marquardt explained in post-fight interviews that he has spoken to his teammate, UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, about dropping down to 170 pounds, and that GSP had recommended it.

    So much for a tune-up fight, though, as he will be fighting one of the division’s top contenders, Rick Story, who has put together an impressive six-fight win streak in the UFC. The biggest victory came less than a month ago at UFC 130 when he shocked the world by defeating consensus top five welterweight Thiago Alves in a unanimous judges’ decision.

    Story took this fight on short notice, replacing the injured Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, and could do wonders for his career with a win in this fight.

    Perhaps the biggest story in this fight will be how much strength Marquardt loses with his drop to 170 pounds. He was known as one of the most powerful fighters in the middleweight division, so depleting his body to get to 170 would likely mean that he slows down and could get picked apart by Story on the feet. But if his statements are true that he feels better than ever as he makes his cut to 170 pounds, this could be the start of a big run in the welterweight division for the former King of Pancrase.

    Prediction:
    Nate Marquardt by decision.

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