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Tag: Ryan Bader

Armchair Matchmaker: UFC on FOX 4 Edition


(Mike Swick and DaMarques Johnson combine their efforts to create not only the greatest punchface of 2012, but perhaps the greatest punchface of all time.) 

Aside from the disappointing and sudden end that came during the Phil Davis/Wagner Prado fight (which is tentatively being rescheduled for UFC on FX 5), last Saturday’s UFC on FOX event delivered in spades, featuring a main card that not only provided four highlight reel finishes for the night’s big winners, but a quartet of great fights that mainstream audiences had yet to witness on a FOX card. It more than likely came as a surprise to most of us that the card was as successful as it truly was, so with that in mind, we decided to dust off our beloved Armchair Matchmaker and pre-determine the fates of the aforementioned winners and losers from last weekend’s action. Enjoy, and let us know of any other possible matchups you’d like to see in the comments section.

Mauricio Rua: Despite smashing Brandon Vera’s title aspirations in rather brutal fashion, there is no denying that Shogun had some rather dicey moments leading up to the fourth round finish (that guillotine, for instance). After controlling Vera on the ground for the majority of the first, Shogun looked like he was fighting underwater by the end of the second. But as was the case in his previous loss to Dan Henderson, Shogun proved that what he lacks in cardio he more than makes up for in heart.

Still, it will take at least another “impressive” finish over an upper-echelon opponent before we are convinced that Shogun deserves another title shot. His total unwillingness to fight Glover Teixeira causes some pause for concern, and since it appears that Rashad Evans might be headed for 185 in the near future, we are left with only one suitable fit: Alexander Gustafsson. Last weekend basically cleared out the list of potential contenders at 205, and although we’d rather see Shogun and Lyoto Machida complete their trilogy for the right to take on the Bones/Hendo winner, we can’t hate on Dana White for following through on his promise. So if Rua/Gustafsson is all we’re left with, we’d be more than willing to watch these two throw down for a #1 contender spot. Let’s just hope Shogun packs his oxygen tank this time.

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UFC on FOX 4: Shogun vs. Vera Aftermath: Breaking Even


Shogun was as brutal and entertaining as Machida, but not as impressive in Dana White’s eyes. Props: @raiseyourhorns

After watching the UFC’s first two lackluster efforts on Fox, as well as the organization’s entertaining third effort fail to draw decent ratings, it was no secret that the UFC needed to deliver with last night’s UFC on Fox 4. With “the most impressive fighter” earning the next title shot at light-heavyweight, fighters returning to the spotlight after time in the indie leagues and fighters returning from extended layoffs – not to mention the usual
mix of fighters attempting to make a name for themselves and guys literally fighting for their jobs- it was obvious that the UFC was hoping for something special from everybody involved. Factor in the fact that the UFC was already struggling with ratings before the abysmal UFC 149 just two weeks ago, and it would seem like a night full of stoppages was in order to keep the fans interested in future fights on Fox.

Simply put, this card delivered all that was expected of it and then some. Last night’s fights were exactly what I was hoping to get when the UFC first announced that they had inked a deal with Fox. It was exactly what I want to show the first time viewer who asks what this “MMA stuff” is that I write about. After a rough start with these free cards on Fox, the UFC now stands at an even 2-2.

It wouldn’t be fair to say that the main event bout between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Brandon “The Truth” Vera lived up to its expectations because, let’s face it, there weren’t any. Before the fight, no one could make sense of the potential title implications behind a seemingly blatant squash fight, pitting an aging legend of our sport against a fighter who had been coasting on the brink of irrelevance. Whether we were given a quick, brutal knockout or five rounds of stalling and wheezing, few of us would have been surprised either way.

Rather, it’s fair to say that Shogun Rua vs. Brandon Vera ended up being one of the best fights that the UFC has put on Fox, and easily the most entertaining main event on the network. For four rounds, Shogun outpointed a focused, game Vera on his way to a fourth round TKO. While Vera certainly had his moments – don’t act like your jaw didn’t drop when he locked in that guillotine in the first round – in the end Shogun’s aggressive striking and takedowns were just too much for The Truth.

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UFC on FOX 4 Reveals the #1 Contender – THE DRAGON

By Nathan Smith

Earlier in the week Dana White stated that “whoever wins the most impressively” from the contests involving Mauricio “Shogun” Rua VS Brandon Vera and Lyoto Machida VS Ryan Bader would be deemed the #1 contender for the LHW title. After watching the events unfold the UFC’s decision remained even more of a cluster f*ck due to a devestating Machida KO and a hard-fought TKO victory by Shogun. Even before Dana White stepped to the podium for the post-fight press conference, he announced LIVE just prior to the conclusion of the UFC on FOX 4 festivities telecast, that Lyoto Machida held the golden ticket.

By the time DW made his way to the dias for the post-fight press conference, the announcement had already spread across the MMA universe but he did say – during the media frenzy – that Machida “wants it bad.” The Dragon earned a convincing KO victory against a very tough competitor. Ryan Bader’s evening ended when he charged forward and ran directly into a perfectly-timed and placed right hand counter by Machida. Good night Irene.

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UFC on FOX 4: Shogun vs. Vera — Live Results & Commentary


(“Then it’s settled. I’ll crouch behind him, and you push him over.” / Photo via CombatLifestyle. For more photos from this set, click here.)

I’ve got an idea: Instead of obsessing about who really deserves the next shot at the light-heavyweight title, let’s just kick back tonight and enjoy some free fights on FOX, two of which happen to feature former 205-pound champions (both Brazilian) facing off against hungry contenders (both American). Throw in a lightweight feature between Joe Lauzon and comeback kid Jamie Varner, and Mike Swick‘s first Octagon appearance in two-and-a-half years, and you’ve got a lineup that should hopefully take some of the sting off that $55 you blew on UFC 149.

The UFC on FOX: Shogun vs. Vera main card kicks off at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, and our man Elias Cepeda will be guiding you through the play-by-play after the jump. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and give us the play-by-play for your own lives in the comments section.

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The Unsupportable Opinion: If Lyoto Machida Wins Tonight, he Automatically Gets Next Title Shot


Props: Jason Deebank via MMAFanMade

By Seth Falvo (@SethFalvo)

We’re just hours away from UFC on FOX 4, where four men will attempt to become the least impressive light-heavyweight title challenger since Elvis Sinosic by winning in the most impressive manner possible. To paraphrase Jeff Fox, the winner of the upcoming Jones vs. Henderson bout will defend his belt against the winner of tonight’s semantics game. There’s got to be a catch, right?

Of course there is. Even the dimmest MMA fans among us have already interpreted this as a way for Dana White to back out of giving Brandon Vera a title shot if he were to actually defeat Shogun Rua tonight. Shogun is obviously the preferable contender, but just in case he blows this somehow, we’ll shrug it off and put the winner of Machida/Bader in the cage with Jones/Hendo, right? Quite the contrary: This semantics game was designed to give Lyoto Machida a title shot with a victory.

Right now, some of you are screaming “What kind of idiot hack journalist are you, Seth?!” at your screens. First, allow me to welcome you to Cage Potato; you’re obviously new here. Second, let me lay it out for you with four simple reasons after the jump.

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‘UFC on FOX 4: Shogun vs. Vera’ Preview and Predictions


(“You know the deal, guys. Whoever puts on the most impressive performance tonight gets the title shot.” [*unzips*] / Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.com. For more photos from this set, click here.)

By Ryan Sarr

Who is going to win the “Jon Jones Sweepstakes?” That is the big question heading into the UFC’s fourth venture onto network television tonight. Dana White was so pissed about the boring, lackluster abomination that was the UFC 149 main card, that he decided to award a light-heavyweight title shot to the man who wins the “most impressively“ among the four main and co-main event participants. (Yes, even Brandon Vera)  The only problem with this scenario is that all four men — Shogun, Vera, Machida, and Bader — have each been decisively destroyed by Jon Jones in previous fights.

Nonetheless, this fight card is still very intriguing and offers many reasons to tune in.  First of all: It’s free on Fox. Second, all four main card bouts are likely to be exciting, fast-paced battles. It also marks the return of the very talented Mike Swick to the Octagon, who hasn’t fought in over two years. Finally, we have a chance to see a true Cinderella story play out once again as Jamie Varner gets a chance to take another huge step up in his comeback by fighting on a main card on network television. So, join me as I break down the main card for UFC on Fox 4 and offer my predictions as to who will emerge victorious.

Mike Swick (14-4, 9-3 UFC) vs. DaMarques Johnson (15-10, 4-4 UFC)

DaMarques Johnson said in the fight promo, “There’s a 50% chance I’m gonna win this fight, there’s a 100% chance that somebody’s taking a nap,” and Johnson has the track record to back it up: None of his fights in the UFC have gone the distance. The Jeremy Horn protégé has slick submission skills to go along with his heavy hands. We know Johnson will bring a fast-paced, exciting style into the Octagon, and his opponent Mike Swick will almost certainly do the same.

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Watch the ‘UFC on FOX: Shogun vs. Vera’ Press Conference Right Here Starting at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT

UFC president Dana White and the four headliners for Saturday’s UFC on FOX 4 event — Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Brandon Vera, Lyoto Machida, and Ryan Bader — will be in attendance today for the “Shogun vs. Vera” press conference in Los Angeles; you can watch it live in the player after the jump beginning at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT. We expect each man to make a perfectly logical and well-reasoned argument why he should be the next light-heavyweight title-contender. Personally, I think Jon Jones should just go down the row elbowing each fighter in the nose at full strength, and the last guy to start crying earns the shot. But what do I know — I’m just an unappreciated promotional visionary.

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‘Shogun vs. Vera: Road to the Octagon’ — Full UFC on FOX 4 Preview Video


(Props: SUPAFIGHTLEAGUE)

They brought me into this fight as a fish for Shogun to eat.”

So said Brandon Vera during yesterday’s hour-long “UFC’s Road to the Octagon” special on FOX, which previewed next weekend’s UFC on FOX: Shogun vs. Vera card in Los Angeles. Vera is well aware that few people are giving him a chance in the night’s headliner — especially considering that he hasn’t had an impressive victory in over three years — but the opportunity to fight Shogun and return to elite-fighter status has given him new motivation for training.

As you can imagine, Shogun has no interest in becoming the co-star in Vera’s Cinderella story. “I’m not going to be the one to bring Brandon Vera back,” he says. And if Rua wins, he’ll likely get another shot at the light-heavyweight belt, where he’d either fight a guy who already crushed him, or a guy who beat him up for the majority of a five-round war. I know, don’t get us started.

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WTF?! of the Day: Shogun Rua to Receive a Title Shot With a Win Over Brandon Vera?


(In order to cut company expenditures, the UFC recently fired Joe Silva in favor of the new, cost-efficient method of matchmaking seen above.) 

If you are the type of person who is quick to pick up on patterns, you may have noticed that more than a couple of our articles today have featured a headline ending in either the cynical question mark or even the full-on flabbergasted question mark followed by an exclamation point. And indeed, everything from Frank Mir’s temporary descent into the Strikeforce ranks to the idea that a Los Angeles hockey team did something worth writing about has left us nearly speechless. But this one tops them all, Potato Nation.

According to a recent interview that FOX Sports conducted with Dana White, if Mauricio “Shogun” Rua manages to defeat Brandon Vera impressively at UFC on FOX 4, he will have earned a title shot against the very same man that took his title, Jon Jones.

Wait, WHAT?!

Besides the fact that Shogun was, at the risk of receiving even more hate mail than usual, owned by Jones at UFC 128, the man has gone win-loss in his past six fights for Christ’s sake. Can we at least let him collect two wins in a row before we declare him the top contender in the division? And the last we checked, it isn’t 2006 anymore, so how a win over Vera justifies a title shot is simply beyond any measure of sound reasoning that we could possibly offer you. Is this just a ploy by The Baldfather to try and hype the hype-less card that is UFC on FOX 4, or is the UFC’s matchmaking department on a permanent lunch break? As if the Mendes/McKenzie pairing wasn’t odd enough, now this nonsense happens.

And if you think that was the only baffling decision made by the UFC that we’re going to cover in this article, join us after the jump for an equally ridiculous potential matchup at 205 lbs.

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Vinny Magalhaes Returns to Zuffa’s Tender Embrace at UFC 151


(The super absorbent Shampow belt currently sells for $19.95, but if you call within the next ten minutes, because we can’t do this all day, we’ll throw in a baby for just the price of shipping and handling.) 

It has been a very frustrating couple of years for M-1 Light Heavyweight champion and TUF 8 finalist Vinny Magalhaes. After winning the M-1 belt with a mounted gogoplata submission over Victor Nemkov in April of 2011, then defending it with a head kick TKO of Mikhail Zayats the following October, Magalhaes found himself in a bit of contract limbo with the well documented shysters at M-1. In short, they refused to offer him any more fights under his current contract while simultaneously trying to ink him a new one. Like we said, shysters.

Anyway, after nearly a year on the shelf, Magalhaes got desperate. So desperate, in fact, that he tried selling his belt on Ebay, which was valued at an astounding $99,999 before it was suddenly pulled off the market for reasons that have yet to be explained. However, it appears that Vinny has finally reached an agreement (re: his mercifully release) with his M-1 counterparts, as word has broke that the champ, who has gone 7-1 since being ousted from the UFC following a pair of losses to Ryan Bader and Elliot Marshall, will return to the sport’s highest promotion at UFC 151, which goes down from the Mandalay Bay in Vegas on September 1st. His opponent has yet to be named, but Tatame has the scoop:

Vinny “Pezao” Magalhaes is back to the UFC. The light heavyweight, who lost to Ryan Bader on the TUF 8 Finale, signed a contract with the organization and is set to fight at UFC 151, on September 1st, TATAME learned with sources.

Videos of Magalhaes’ title win and defense await you after the jump, along with the skinny on a potential signing in the UFC’s flyweight division.

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