As the old saying goes “a picture is worth a thousand words”. The saying applies to this day and without a doubt, applies to mixed martial arts as some of the sports most historic moments are relived through the images that captured them.
There is nothing better than a snapshot of a fighter dealing with tragedy or triumph, or a picture of a perfectly timed strike, every microscopic fragment of impact relived as limbs and jaws collide. A photo can display a range of emotions, happiness and sadness, victory and defeat. Every picture is different, each having a unique distinction and personal story.
That being said, lets look back at the 6 best photos from UFC on FOX 4: Shogun vs. Vera.
6. Morago Makes Waves
Flyweight newcomer John Moraga made a statement in his UFC debut against a very tough and durable Ulysses Gomez in the opening fight of the night at UFC on FOX 4. Moraga proved that 125-pound fighters do, in fact, carry knockout power when he blasted Gomez with a combination of punches that resulted in the fight being stopped with Gomez slumped against the cage wondering what happened. Moraga’s only loss in his 12-fight career is against “The Ultimate Fighter” season 14 winner John Dodson, so it will be very interesting to see how far this young man can go in the UFC.
5. Brandon Vera Hunts For The Kill
Coming into the fight as a massive underdog, a lot of people counted Brandon Vera out as having no chance of beating Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. While Vera get finished by TKO in the fourth round and arguably lost the three-rounds prior to that, he did connect with a lot more strikes on “Shogun” than many expected. “The Truth” scored points with nice kicks, punches and elbows, strikes that would have very likely been hurt fighter’s with lesser chins. Fortunately for “Shogun”, he has the ability to take an absurd amount of punishment.
4. Josh Grispi’s Shin, Meet Rani Yayha’s Chin
In the lone moment of successful offense for Josh Grispi against Rani Yahya, the American hit the Brazilian with a knee/shin right to the face. Grispi’s striking looked decent in the fight for the brief moments he was able to show it off, but the key words are just that: brief moments. Grispi was taken to the ground fairly early in the fight and from there he was in Yahya’s world and it was just a matter of time until the fight was over. Yahya locked in a north-south choke on Grispi, a submission that is rare to see in high-level MMA. Grispi has now lost three-straight fights, but at least he has a cool photo to show for his efforts.
3. The Samurai Spirit
Some fighters will taunt their opponents after a knockout or excessively celebrate to the crowd, but that’s no Lyoto Machida’s style. After viciously knocking out Ryan Bader, “The Dragon” respectfully bowed to his fallen opponent in a display of true class. Machida’s knockout earned him a UFC light heavyweight title shot as he will fight the winner of the UFC 151 main event between Jon Jones and Dan Henderson at an undetermined date.
2. That Happened “Quick”
Mike Swick’s long awaited return to mixed martial arts competition was successful as he put DaMarques Johnson to sleep in the second round of the UFC on FOX 4 main card opener. It was a competitive fight up until a single mistake by Johnson of not keeping his hands up led to him getting knocked unconcious. The finish happened out of nowhere as Swick caught a kick by Johnson and tripped him to the mat. Johnson was taken off guard by the trip and it was a series of follow-up shots that bounced Johnson’s head off the canvas that caused the real damage. It took a few minutes for Johnson to get his wits back after the finish, but luckily he walked away under his own power. Brutal finish by Swick, who earned an extra $50k for the ‘Knockout of the Night’.
1. Is He Alive?
The photo looks more like Lyoto Machida is checking Ryan Bader’s pulse to see if his heart is beating rather then landing one of the ruthless blows he landed to Bader’s chin after the initial knockdown. The Brazilian countered his foe after Bader foolishly tried to lunge in for an attack. “The Ultimate Fighter” winner paid for his mistake in the worst of ways, getting knocked out cold for the first time in his career. For a fight who was once criticized for being boring and not carrying power in his hands, Machida has quieted those critics in recent years as four of his last five wins are by knockout.
Mike Bohn, founder and lead writer of FightCove.com, wrote this article. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @FightCoveMike. Also, follow @FightCove on Twitter and “Like” Fight Cove on Facebook.