Vera threw every ounce of skill and determination housed within
his 6-foot-2 frame at Mauricio
“Shogun” Rua, only to come up short in his attempt to upset the
heavily favored former light heavyweight champion.
Rua (21-6, 5-4 UFC) stopped the man they call “The Truth” on
fourth-round punches in the UFC
on Fox 4 headliner on Saturday at the Staples Center in Los
Angeles. His body racked by pain and fatigue, the 2005
Pride Fighting Championships middleweight grand prix winner
brought the grueling struggle to a close 4:09 into round four.
“He’s a very good fighter,” Rua said. “I’m sorry, guys. I didn’t
give my best today, but I will improve to give my best in the
future. The most important thing is the victory. I respect Brandon
a lot. He made an excellent fight. I was more tired in the second
and third rounds than I expected.”
A left hook late in the fourth period turned the tide permanently
in the Brazilian’s favor. “Shogun” followed it with a clubbing
left-right volley, driving the fatigued and wounded Vera to the
canvas. Rua finished him there, as a series of heavy ground strikes
forced referee Herb Dean to
intervene on the Alliance MMA representative’s behalf.
Vera (12-6, 8-6 UFC), who once had designs on multi-division glory
in the UFC, took a significant step towards restoring his place in
the promotion. He attacked Rua with all-in punches, standing elbows
and kicks to the head and body. In response, the Brazilian
neutralized him with takedowns, ground-and-pound and strong work in
the clinch. Vera remained competitive until he finally succumbed to
the blows in the fourth round.
Machida Counter KOs Bader
Onetime light heavyweight champion Lyoto
Machida knocked out “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 winner
Bader in the co-main event. Bader (14-3, 7-3 UFC), who had
never before been knocked out, met his end 92 seconds into round
Bader never solved the riddle in front of him, as Machida (18-3,
10-3 UFC) lured him into his trap with kicks to the legs and body.
In the second round, Bader charged forward with a powerful right
hand cocked. He was met with a Machida counterpunch and folded
where he stood. A pair of right hands followed, one of them with
Bader on the way down, and resulted in the Arizonan being knocked
“I feel very well,” Machida said. “I think it was a great
performance. I want to say that ‘The Dragon’ is back.”
Lauzon Triangle Submits Varner
World Extreme Cagefighting champion Jamie Varner
with a third-round triangle choke in a memorable battle at 155
pounds. Lauzon (22-7, 9-4 UFC) sealed the deal 2:44 into round
three, as he won for the third time in four outings.
Lauzon File Photo
Lauzon finished Jamie Varner.
Varner (20-7-1, 2-2 UFC), who filled in for the injured Terry Etim on
short notice, staggered Lauzon with one right hand in the first
round and leveled him with another. He swarmed “The Ultimate
Fighter” Season 5 alum on the ground to no avail and returned to
his corner between rounds visibly fatigued.
Lauzon sank his teeth into the fight in the second period, where he
twice moved to the Arizona-based lightweight’s back and ultimately
mounted him with roughly half a minute remaining in the round.
Varner secured a takedown in round three, only to be swept by
Lauzon. The 28-year-old Massachusetts native then trapped Varner in
a triangle during the transition, coaxing the tapout.
Swick’s Return a Knockout
In his first appearance in more than two years, the American
Kickboxing Academy’s Mike Swick
knocked out “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 9 finalist DaMarques
Johnson 80 seconds into the second round of their welterweight
showcase. Stuck on the sidelines with an assortment of injuries,
Swick (15-4, 10-3 UFC) had not fought since his submission loss to
Thiago at UFC 109 on Feb. 6, 2010.
Not all went according to plan for the 33-year-old Houston native.
Johnson (15-11, 4-5 UFC) had him in serious trouble in the first
round, as he moved to full mount, battered him with elbows and
threatened him with a plethora of chokes. Swick refused to give in.
In the second round, he caught a low kick from Johnson, drove him
to the ground and delivered a wicked standing-to-ground right hand
that knocked the Jeremy Horn
protégé unconscious. Swick landed two follow-up ground strikes for
“I had to take what I could get. He came [out] a lot harder than I
thought [he would]. He hit me in the eye in the first round, and I
still can’t see out of it,” Swick said. “I was really worried that
I couldn’t see out of one eye, so I was taking any shot I could and
throwing with everything I had. I wanted to get a knockout
tonight.”More UFC on Fox 4 »
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