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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.

Shogun, on the other hand, had a much more difficult task as (we can only surmise) the pink-slip-motivated Brandon Vera landed repeatedly with sharp elbows early on during their contest.  A back and forth battle ensued between the men and it wasn’t until the closing stages of the 4th round that Shogun was able to finalize the main event with the TKO stoppage after Vera was overwhelmed by fatigue and punishment.

Judging a main event UFC fight with title implications is difficult enough (*unless you are Cecil Peoples – then you can seemingly do Sodoku throughout the scrap then fill in a 10-9 wherever you eenie-meenie-minie-moe feel like it on the official scorecard*).  Objectively judging a UFC battle that is “most impressive” is a completely different thing.  Which is more impressive?

Decking a young buck contender full of piss and vinegar or stopping a veteran that has his career, income and family’s wellbeing on the line?

Well, DW and the UFC went with the former and Lyoto Machida will be the opponent for the winner of Jon Jones VS Dan Henderson.  So there you have it.  Machida is next in line and another CP writer is proven prophetic.  The Dragon was asked who he would prefer to face, Bones or Hendo, to which he replied “It doesn’t matter.”  The verbose Machida was also asked what he plans to do if he faces Jones again.  His response was typical.  “I have to improve my wresting.”  Considering Machida was choked out (go get youself some fans) COLD while standing, we can only hope the rematch is more competitive – unless, of course, Jon Jones runs his Bentley into the Dan Henderson tree.

We have months to speculate but who you got on both Potato Nation?

*Cecil Peoples is a respected and licensed combat sports judge and the bullshit within this article is simply personal opinion*

Cagepotato Comments

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Mr_Misanthropy- August 5, 2012 at 6:39 pm
Better to be pissed off than pissed on- er-to not drink piss.

Look, urine better shape full of piss and vinegar than only full of piss.
MonsterMaulingAss- August 5, 2012 at 12:29 pm
"we can only hope the rematch is more competitive", did you just completely ignore the first round?
Alan K- August 5, 2012 at 10:38 am
Cecil Peoples scores this fight 30-27 in favor of suing your ass. I thought the first and third rounds were close but apparently he didn't see it that way.
mookiestick- August 5, 2012 at 10:37 am
I liked machida's patience and always have. Being a karate point fighter I understand the the name of the game in karate is 1) use your legs as your first line of defense, move. 2) be patient and watch your opponents core. 3) attack suddenly and decisively when presented with an opportunity. I'm no MMA fighter at 46 years old but Machida employed those principles. Good job boring to many exciting to some. Well played. An yes, I also noticed a lot of Anderson Silva head movement. That was a little different good job by machida
darkfall- August 5, 2012 at 10:01 am
To win a title shot by beating Bader is idiotic in its own right. Bader is not an impressive fighter hell he even tapped out to Tito Ortiz not to long ago. How the hell is this guy anything more than say a gate keeper to getting into top of the division is beyond me.
Mofo- August 5, 2012 at 9:43 am
Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of Vera's skills. I do a lot of Muay Thai so I love a guy who can do Muay Thai but back it up with a wrestling pedigree (which I totally totally do not have). But Bader is no slouch: he's a much more offensive wrestler, and he's probably got more knockout power. I think those two are close skills-wise; at least, close enough that Machida should get a lot of credit for making them look not close at all.

BTW, Bader *did* choose the worst possible game plan, which is a huge factor here. Who the fuck told him he should try to out-strike Machida?? I know Machida has decent takedown defense, but Bader should have done what Yahyah did: never stop looking for that takedown.
Get Off Me- August 5, 2012 at 9:27 am
Shogun was tired because Vera pressed the fight and hit him with solid shots. As Vera said in the post fight presser "Get off that" in regards to Shogun looking weak as the fight went on. I literally saw a Teacher/Student fight last night(Machida/Bader) and I saw a pride style fight(Shogun/Vera). I saw the best Brandon Vera I have ever seen last night and leading into this fight Bader was given the look as the underdog to win out of the two fights. Everyone wrote Vera off, so it is normal for people to feel Bader was the tougher opponent going into last night, but watching those two fights and having to answer the question afterwards "who was the tougher opponent?". I have to stick with Vera.
Mofo- August 5, 2012 at 9:04 am
I think it's BS *whenever* someone says one guy "wants it more" than the other. Give me a break, these guys all make enormous sacrifices in their lives and train like madmen every day etc etc and go into that ring knowing one thing: whatever happens, this is probably going to hurt a hell of a lot, and there's a chance I'll get humiliated (like Forrest/Silva).

But saying Vera was a tougher opponent than Bader is tricky. I think Shogun *allowed* Vera to look tough, whereas Machida would have made Vera look not so tough. The 185 division looks like a bunch of crappy fighters not because they *are*, but because Silva shuts them down.
Get Off Me- August 5, 2012 at 8:53 am
I guess Shogun really showed us vs Hendo and Vera that he does not want the title shot "as bad" as Machida. I'm with Randy Couture in saying Shogun looked more impressive in victory last night. The tougher opponent last night was Vera, the more exciting fight was Vera/Shogun and the more competitive fight was Vera/Shogun. I'm fine with Machida getting another shot, but I just thought it was a little sour grapes for Dana to say Machida "wants it bad" after Shoguns last two fights.
Mofo- August 5, 2012 at 8:13 am
Anyone else think Washing Machida moved a lot more like Anderson last night? I don't think I'm imagining that.

BTW, the decision to give it to him is a total no-brainer: he shut down his opponent 100%. End of discussion.
Mofo- August 5, 2012 at 8:08 am
Hahaha laughin out loud to the tazering... I hope he was only pretending to drink that beer cuz he surely would have choked and died otherwise.

Also Nathan thanks for introducing me to Colonel Clusterfuck, one of the funniest things I've seen days.
The12ozCurls- August 5, 2012 at 10:49 am
Your welcome.
I really think a lot of people skip over the hyperlinks. Damn, I put a lot of effort into trying to make the post more interesting by searching youtube and google for stupid shit to link to. Thanks for the love Mofo.
Mofo- August 5, 2012 at 12:08 pm
There's an old tradition here of having cool or fucked up hyperlinks in articles, Rex used to do a great job at that and it adds a lot. Maybe my memory is failing me but I don't think most writers on CP do that anymore, so keep it up! And if I ever see that damn Rick Moranis he is DEAD MEAT.
J.Jones- August 5, 2012 at 12:24 pm
Are you for real, Mofo? Most of my articles are basically a hyperlinked smorgasbord! I've actually gotten a couple reader requests to hyperlink LESS often. I laugh at such a ridiculous notion, of course.
Mofo- August 5, 2012 at 8:04 am
Awwwwwww... it seriously makes me sad that CP has to put legal fine print EVEN when dissing CECIL PEEPEES! I know why, but still, fuck the world.

The reason the main card was all stoppages is cuz everyone saw his name on the judge list.
cecils_pupils- August 5, 2012 at 7:58 am
Reality check - Brandon Vera pushed the pace on Shogun making him look like he has a cardio problem whereas Bader did nothing substantial to challenge Machida. Yes Machida's win was more impressive, but the only fair thing to do, IMO, is to have Shogun vs. Machida III for the title shot - especially since Jones destroyed both of them.
Mofo- August 5, 2012 at 7:57 am
Machida tried about 4 times to catch Darth Bader coming in with an overhand right elbow. Never found its mark. For me, it makes Weidman seem even more impressive for pulling that off to perfection (which I say begrudgingly because I think he seems like a douche).
NomadRip- August 5, 2012 at 6:39 am
Great fights all around. I understand why Machida goes on the Wonka tour. He looked better than he ever has. Rua, while tough as shit, looked pretty amateurish with his conditioning. Not saying it wasn't a tough fight, because they were fighting hard, but he looked sloppy and flabby. Not like someone ready to take on a champion.
Great fights all around, though. J-Lau gets better every time out, and I almost want to say Brandon looked like the o*d Vera last night, but there's a ban on that.
RearNakedSpoon- August 5, 2012 at 5:02 am
"The Dragon's back!" ....again.

Was Machida vs Bader scheduled for a 5 round fight? If not then could that have been an influence on how the fights played out?
Dizzylittlelord- August 5, 2012 at 4:45 am
youve just written a perfectly good article then ruined its legitimacy by spouting nonsensical bullshit about cecil peoples being respected
Qlay- August 5, 2012 at 4:02 am
Technically Lyoto is the #2 contender, but who cares right? War Dragon!
On a side note, Brandon Vera looked fucking great against Shogun. Too bad Shogun is immune to stoppage.
eselockster- August 5, 2012 at 2:57 am
More competitive? Machida was winning until the behemoth that is Jones choked him out, Machida could have probably got out of it if Jones wasn't 3 times bigger than every other 205er
The12ozCurls- August 5, 2012 at 12:10 am
BTW - I have NO idea where the "eenie-meenie-minie-moe" clip came from but it is funny as shit and the dude gets his ass tazed for real at the end.
The12ozCurls- August 5, 2012 at 12:03 am
Good night or Good morning - either way, I have had it and need to go to sleep. When you sit through an entire UFC post fight presser that doesn't involve Chael, it is tough to make a CP story out of it. Machida quotes aren't exactly moving the dial but at least he tried to speak out of his native tongue. Peace Bitches!
Mr_Misanthropy- August 5, 2012 at 12:03 am
The only time Jon Bon Jonsi gets beat is when he rubs one out to pictures of himself in the baffroom.

I don't see Hendo getting past his reach and size advantage.
The12ozCurls- August 5, 2012 at 12:05 am
Damn, Mr_ what the fuck are you doing? Trolling? I just finished writing this and literally posted it 5 minutes ago? Regardless, WELL DONE sir!